NJ Rules Group Discriminated against Lesbian Couple

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New Jersey has ruled against a Christian group, saying it discriminated against a lesbian couple when it barred them from using their property in 2007.

Five years ago, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association refused to allow the couple to use its boardwalk pavilion for a civil union ceremony. The venue had been advertised for weddings.

The church argued that the pavilion was an extension of its wedding ministry. But in January, a New Jersey judge rejected that argument.

On Tuesday, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Director Craig Sashiharathe upheld that decision, saying the association violated the state's anti-discrimination law.

He said since the group that runs the pavilion receives tax breaks, anyone can use the facility.

The association lost its tax-exempt status in 2007 and stopped renting out the pavilion for weddings. It had been used for some Sunday church services and youth ministry programs.

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