Breaking News: New Jersey Says Ocean Grove Association Discriminated Against Lesbian Couple


New Jersey Star Ledger:

A state agency concluded Tuesday that an Ocean Grove association discriminated against a lesbian couple by denying their application to hold a civil union ceremony at its boardwalk pavilion.

In a 16-page decision, state Division of Civil Rights Director Craig Sashihara wrote that that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association violated the state Law Against Discrimination in 2007 when it did not allow Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster to hold their ceremony at the pavilion, theAsbury Park Press reports.

Sashihara upheld a January decision reached by a state Office of Administrative Law judge.

“The laws of New Jersey prevailed,” Bernstein told the Asbury Park Press. “We’re delighted.”

... the state Department of Environmental Protection denied the association’s request for a tax abatement for the pavilion in 2008 because the structure was not available to all on an equal basis, the Asbury Park Press reported.

The association, which can appeal the decision within 45 days, has stopped renting out the pavilion for weddings since the incident, the Asbury Park Press reported.