Epitomizing how people hide their homophobia, the Catholic Diocese of Worcester has been caught lying to prevent selling their Northbridge, Massachusetts mansion to a gay couple who planned to rent it out for local events, including same-sex weddings. Monsignor Thomas Sullivan in charge of the property told a reporter the deal collapsed because the couple couldn't get financing, but the reporter had a copy of Sullivan's email to his real estate agent:
"I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop. 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."
In Massachusetts it is illegal to discriminate against buyers based on sexual orientation. The gay couple, James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, who have been together 35 years and married in 2004, plan to sue. Their lawyer points out that gay weddings could have happened in the event space regardless of the orientation of the buyers.
Because a news story about the Catholic Church being antigay and breaking the law isn't shocking, the real stunner is this: The deal for the 44-room mansion on 6 acres was $550,000 plus a sprinkler upgrade for $240,000.