Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, June 30, 2008

"Methodist Retreat Against Gays"

"Civil Union Dispute Pits Methodist Retreat Against Gays Who Aided in Its Rebirth," announces the headline of this New York Times piece.  The "Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association" does not want to permit "civil union ceremonies from taking place on its property."  And so, it is being investigated by the state's Division on Civil Rights.  More:

Since 1989, Ocean Grove’s beach, boardwalk and oceanfront road have received tax-exempt status under the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres Program, which was created to encourage use of privately owned space for public recreation and conservation. In its original application for the exemption — which saves the group about $500,000 a year and is up for renewal on Sept. 15, according to Bernard Haney, the Neptune Township tax assessor — the association noted that the properties were open to the public and that the pavilion had been used by outside groups.

Some see an inherent conflict between the association seeking tax-exempt status as a public open space with one state agency while suing another state agency for violating its rights as a private religious group.

This story suggests, it seems to me, that it is not unreasonable to be uneasy about, at the very least, the future tax-exempt status of religious institutions that refuse to assimilate same-sex relationships and marriages.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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