A married couple in Massachusetts is
suing a Catholic diocese, alleging that the religious group refused
to sell them property because they're gay.
Alain Beret and Jim Fairbanks were
negotiating with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester to buy the
Oakhurst Mansion, a 44-bedroom home in Worcester County. According
to CNN affiliate WHDH, the home was previously used as a treatment
facility for pedophile priests. The couple said they wanted to turn
the mansion into an upscale inn that would host weddings.
The “owner of the property, refused
to sell the property to them after discovering that the two men are
gay and married, and that they would allow gay marriages to take
place” on the premises, the couple's lawyers said in a statement.
According to the complaint, a diocese
leader is quoted as saying in an e-mail: “because of the
potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us
yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers.
I think they're shaky anyway.”
An attorney for the diocese has denied
the claims, saying the couple's financing fell through.
The men, together 30 years, denied
financing was an issue.