A lesbian couple has won permission to pursue a discrimination complaint against the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association after they were barred from holding a civil partnership ceremony at a beachfront pavilion in Ocean Grove, the Star-Ledger reports:
“For years, the association, which owns all land in the nearly 1-square-mile section of Neptune Township, used the pavilion for both religious services and public events like weddings. But the association rejected the March 5, 2007, application of Ocean Grove residents Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster, on the grounds their civil union would conflict with the association’s religious beliefs. The couple filed a complaint with the state Division on Civil Rights, and the association countered with a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the state investigation. In November 2007, U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano dismissed the association’s complaint and gave the division the green light to continue its investigation. That decision is on appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court.”
A report released earlier this month by the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission reported “overwhelming evidence” that civil unions are inferior to marriage in providing equal rights to the state’s citizens.