Lesbian brides win settlement from Vermont inn

Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:21pm EDT
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By Ros Krasny

BOSTON (Reuters) - A resort in northern Vermont has settled a lawsuit brought after it refused to host a lesbian couple's wedding reception, citing the innkeepers' "personal feelings."

The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville declined to host an event for Kate Linsley (nee Baker) and Ming Linsley, both of New York, saying innkeepers Mary and Jim O'Reilly did not host "gay receptions."

As part of the settlement, the resort will pay $10,000 to the Vermont Human Rights Commission and place $20,000 in a charitable trust to be disbursed by the Linsleys, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Vermont.

It also agreed to no longer host wedding receptions.

The commission was a co-plaintiff in the proceedings.

"We're glad that the Wildflower Inn has recognized that the way we were treated was wrong and that no other family will have to experience what we did," said Ming Linsley, 35.

"All families should feel welcome at any resort that's open to the public," she said.

The couple had planned to hold their wedding ceremony at a Buddhist retreat in northern Vermont in 2011 and their reception at a nearby inn.   Continued...

New York lesbian couple Ming Linsley (L) and Kate Baker are pictured at a news conference in Montpelier, VT in this July 19, 2011 handout photo. REUTERS/ACLU/Handout