Judge: NJ Church Illegally Banned Gay Ceremony

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A New Jersey judge says the Methodist Church violated a state law in refusing to allow a same-sex ceremony on its property in 2007.

On Thursday, Administrative Law Judge Solomon Metzger said the decision made by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association violated New Jersey's discrimination laws.

Metzger ruled the pavilion area where the couple wanted to hold the ceremony is a public space and is advertised as a wedding venue without any religious pre-conditions.

The church argued that the pavilion was an extension of its wedding ministry, an argument that the judge rejected.

Jim Campbell, the attorney representing the church, says they may appeal the decision.

"The government should not be able to force a private Christian organization to use its property in a way that would violate its own religious beliefs," he said in a statement.

The plaintiffs in the case are not seeking monetary damages, and the judge did not impose any penalties when he made his ruling.

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