Email Mistake Reveals Why MA Catholic Diocese Unwilling to Sell Property to Gay Couple

Creative Commons: Pauljoffe

“I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop,” Sullivan wrote to the broker, according to the Telegram. “Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.” (Advocate.com)

This damning excerpt was taken directly from an email Monsignor Thomas Sullivan sent to his diocese’s real estate broker. Unintentionally, she passed it on to her clients, the gay couple James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, revealing why it was that the diocese had been so intent on denying the two the possibility of actually purchasing the property. Somehow the unconnected ideas of gay marriage and these customers being “shaky” have been forged into a link that apparently justifies discrimination.

Though I recognize that discrimination over sexual preferences still exists, I am still surprised to see something like this occurring in Massachusetts, as Boston is ranked one of the top 10 most LGBT friendly cities in the country. This extremely liberal state generally allows for freedom and equality even as far as allowing same-sex couples to be married. Though not everyone is going to have the same opinion as the majority, the main reason that this seems to fit is its relation to the Catholic church.

I’ve heard enough about the Catholic church’s tendency to oppose most anything LGBT, but this situation is unusual even in that context. Preaching that acting on homosexuality is a sin is one thing, but to exclude a community based on this idea is another thing altogether. Freedom of speech is a right that they have, whether they say something that we agree with or not, but choosing not to sell to a client due to sexual orientation is illegal in Massachusetts (and should be everywhere else). How can something like this still be an issue in modern times?

Anastasia Person

Anastasia Person

Anastasia Person is an LGBT activist and writer for Venus Plus X. She is a student at American University and studies literature.
Anastasia Person

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