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.