Most Americans embrace tolerance for homosexuals while opposing such fanatical ideas as same-sex marriage. This is what the Catholic League believes as well. Unfortunately, there are some gay activists who are not interested in tolerance—they demand social affirmation. And they will use the law as a club to beat down those who disagree with them. Consider the case of an Irish couple from Vermont who recently contacted the Catholic League for help (to protect their anonymity, we will not disclose their name).
Jim and Mary own an inn in Vermont that occasionally hosts wedding parties. Earlier this year, Jim got a call from a woman who requested use of his inn for a civil union reception for her and her woman lover (civil unions are legal in Vermont). This put Jim in a pickle: Jim and Mary are good Catholics and look with disfavor on civil unions, so when asked about this, Jim made it clear that he wouldn’t be too happy about providing his facility for such an event. But that didn’t sit too well with the woman. So she filed a complaint against him with the Vermont Human Rights Commission.
Keep in mind that Jim never said he would unequivocally deny the woman his inn—he simply said that his heart wouldn’t be in it given his religious convictions. No matter, she deemed this as sufficient cause to seek a legal remedy. It is crystal clear what is going on here: the lesbians want to impose their beliefs on Jim and Mary, having absolutely no respect for their religious objections.
We referred Jim to a legal group that deals with such matters and he has since obtained counsel. Interestingly, what may help Jim and Mary out is a ruling in 1994 by the Vermont Supreme Court that said a Catholic couple who owned a printing company could turn down a request by a pro-abortion group to print its flyers. It was the Catholic League that rallied to the side of that couple, Chuck and Susan Baker, and now the precedent that has been set may help Jim and Mary. We hope and pray it does.