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Judge: Methodist ministry violated law in refusing same-sex ceremony

January 13, 2012

A New Jersey administrative law judge has ruled that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association--a ministry associated with the United Methodist Church--violated the state’s anti-discrimination law when it refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to take place on its property in 2007.

“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,” the association’s attorney said in response.


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  • Posted by: filioque - Jan. 14, 2012 1:01 AM ET USA

    This or a similar case is bound to reach the Supreme Court. After the unanimous ruling this week upholding the right of a church to choose its ministers, I would expect that the Court would also uphold the right of a church to control the use of its property.

  • Posted by: dad2dlj - Jan. 13, 2012 9:49 PM ET USA

    Happily the US Supreme Court got things right in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC; incredibly, they ruled unanimously in favor of the religion clauses in the Constitution. Their slapdown of the EEOC's specious arguments about freedom of association rendering the religion clauses unneeded was especially good. The lesson from NJ is don't advertise your religious buildings as wedding chapels for hire if you want to preserve your right to assert religious restraints on their use.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Jan. 13, 2012 1:30 PM ET USA

    This is really ominous, but completely foreseeable by anyone who's given the issue more than a moment's thought. We're heading directly into a massive church-state confrontation, particularly if Obama is re-elected in 2012. Faithful Christians may not be fed to lions but they may lose livelihood, homes, suffer ruinous fines, etc. I hope I'm just being alarmist.