NJ finds church unlawfully discriminated by barring civil union ceremony

The AP reports on Newsday:

A lesbian couple that was barred from holding a civil union ceremony at a beachfront pavilion owned by a church group has won a legal victory.

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights said in a ruling Monday that its investigation found that the refusal of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization that owns a square-mile of beachfront property near Asbury Park, to rent the oceanfront spot to the couple for a civil union ceremony in March 2007 violated the public accommodation provisions of the state’s Law Against Discrimination . . .

ADF attorney Brian Raum is quoted in the AP: “A Christian organization has a Constitutional right to use their facilities in a way that is consistent with their beliefs.”

NY Times: Lesbian Pair Wins Ruling Over Refusal of Ceremony

Religion Clause Blog: NJ Finds Discrimination In Faith Group’s Refusal To Rent Premises For Civil Union

NJ AG Press release: Division on Civil Rights Finds Probable Cause in Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association Case on Civil Union Ceremonies

Leonard Link: NJ Civil Rights Division Finds Probable Cause in Ocean Grove Civil Unions Dispute
“. . . In a symbolic sense, the Bernstein-Paster ruling is a preliminary victory. However, the simultaneous ruling on the Moore-Sonnessa complaint suggests that it may be no more than a symbolic victory for anybody other than the individual complainants . . . ”

Related ADF press releases.