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Catholic Diocese Under Fire for Refusing to Sell Property to Gay Couple (Here we go again)
Christian Post ^ | 03/20/2013 | BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI

Posted on 03/20/2014 7:35:27 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

A Roman Catholic diocese in Massachusetts that refused to sell a historic mansion to a gay couple is facing mounting legal pressure.

Massachusetts' Attorney General Martha Coakley recently filed a brief in support of the gay couple who are suing the Diocese of Worcester alleging discrimination.

Filed before superior court earlier this month on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Coakley argued that the diocese's actions constituted "sexual orientation discrimination."

"The commonwealth's compelling interest in protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination derives from their status as a politically vulnerable minority that has suffered a history of discrimination, which continues to this day," reads the brief in part.

"… though the diocesan defendants assert a sincerely held religious belief, their free exercise claim fails the rest of the compelling interest test, and they are not entitled to an exemption."

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General provided The Christian Post with a press release sent out last Thursday, wherein Coakley stated that her office respects the freedom of religion.

"Our laws provide important protections for religious organizations and people of faith. … These laws also strike a balance between religious freedoms and the rights of individuals to be free from discrimination," said Coakley.

"In this case, we believe that this family was unfairly discriminated against by the diocese when it refused to sell them property based on their sexual orientation."

A couple years ago, James Fairbanks and Alain Beret sought to purchase a historic mansion in Northbridge that the Worcester Diocese used as a nonprofit church-affiliated retreat center.

According to Fairbanks and Beret, although the diocese initially accepted their offer for a sale in spring 2012, the Catholic officials changed their minds and ended negotiations.

The alleged reason came through a leaked email in which diocesan officials expressed concern that gay marriages might be held at the mansion, reported Lisa Wangsness of the Boston Globe.

"The couple sued the diocese in September 2012. The parties moved for summary judgment last month, and oral arguments are scheduled for April 22," wrote Wangsness.

Gavin Reardon, attorney for the Worcester Diocese, told CP that the decision to reject Fairbanks and Beret's offer had to do with finances rather than sexual orientation or gay marriage.

"From the diocese's perspective, this is a failed real estate sale and really doesn't have anything to do with discrimination," said Reardon.

"The negotiations had ceased prior to any information about the possibility of same-sex marriages being conducted at the property."

Reardon said that Fairbanks and Beret had "made an offer for approximately half as much money for less than the whole property and the diocese rejected that offer."

"These people never came up with the money," said Reardon, who added that the leaked email had been sent out two days after the deadline for negotiations on the mansion.

Reardon also told CP that both the Worcester Diocese and the plaintiffs are seeking a summary judgment, which means they are requesting a decision by the judge without a trial based on the facts already present.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: catholic; gaymarriage; homosexuality; property
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1 posted on 03/20/2014 7:35:27 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Christians better step up and defend each other. This is getting way out of hand.


2 posted on 03/20/2014 7:38:29 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Immigration Reform is job NONE. It isn't even the leading issue with Hipanics. Enforce our laws.)
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To: DoughtyOne

How is this different than refusing to sell to a black couple?

Once you put something up for sale you can’t control ‘who’ buys it.


3 posted on 03/20/2014 7:39:47 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: SeekAndFind

Just go ahead and give Antarctica to the population and let them all move there and find something else to be outraged about


4 posted on 03/20/2014 7:39:59 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: SeekAndFind

Now they want to control who you can sell your property to? Crazy


5 posted on 03/20/2014 7:40:59 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: SeekAndFind

“The negotiations had ceased prior to any information about the possibility of same-sex marriages being conducted at the property.”

HOWEVER the headlines will be written that paint the Christians as SATAN and few will be the wiser.

BAN HOMO PROPAGANDA NOW!


6 posted on 03/20/2014 7:41:02 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Spreading Peace and Luv Since...1960 something)
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To: jsanders2001

Just go ahead and give Antarctica to the gay population and let them all move there and find something else to be outraged about


7 posted on 03/20/2014 7:41:31 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: DoughtyOne
Christians better step up and defend each other.

Yeah.

Right.

See how the supposed "Christians" step up and defend each other on this forum ...

Oh, yes.

They don't.

They tear each others' heads off.

I suppose some people will give me the finger and call me a n00b ...

But it's still true.

8 posted on 03/20/2014 7:41:55 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: Black Agnes

One is a skin tone and one is a behavior


9 posted on 03/20/2014 7:41:56 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: SeekAndFind

I just wonder when the physical persecution begins?


10 posted on 03/20/2014 7:43:07 PM PDT by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: Black Agnes

“The negotiations had ceased prior to any information about the possibility of same-sex marriages being conducted at the property.”

the “buyers” could even come up with the funds necessary for the purchase

this SCAM was perped in order to WEE WEE on the Church

The Bible does not discriminate against people according to RACE..but its clearly discriminatory against those who commit abominations

there IS NO BLACK-GAY corollary


11 posted on 03/20/2014 7:43:22 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Spreading Peace and Luv Since...1960 something)
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To: MeshugeMikey

RE: BAN HOMO PROPAGANDA NOW!

How do you do that without stepping on the Freedom of Speech clause of the first amendment?


12 posted on 03/20/2014 7:44:36 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (question is this)
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To: SeekAndFind

It was my high point of Sarcasm for the day

Im sick of scams like this alleged discrimination.

they set this mess up to play victim and the headlines are all that anyone remembers

In this case they hadnt the FUNDS.....to BUY the place.....they claim they were KEPT from purchasing.

the article HEADLINE athough true didnt REFLECT to core issue ..that ebing that this mess is mere HOMO PROPAGANDA


13 posted on 03/20/2014 7:50:35 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Spreading Peace and Luv Since...1960 something)
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To: Black Agnes

“Once you put something up for sale you can’t control ‘who’ buys it.”

First Amendment: Freedom of association.

I don’t have to sell an adjacent lot to a hazardous waste outfit, for example, or anyone else I don’t want to sell to.

The Left hates contracts that are not routed through the central government- look at what they did to the preferred stockholders of GM, for example.


14 posted on 03/20/2014 7:51:25 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Black Agnes

this is just a free money ploy....


15 posted on 03/20/2014 7:51:33 PM PDT by cherry
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To: Black Agnes
I think your question would be valid, if this case was based on the aversion to homosexuality alone

My comments were based on the inclusion of "here we go again" in the title. That led me to believe this was a flimsey claim. Upon closer inspection, it does seem there is some question as to whether this was based on the issue of 'same sex partners or the possibility of same sex marriages being conducted on the property':

Excerpt:

Gavin Reardon, attorney for the Worcester Diocese, told CP that the decision to reject Fairbanks and Beret's offer had to do with finances rather than sexual orientation or gay marriage.

"From the diocese's perspective, this is a failed real estate sale and really doesn't have anything to do with discrimination," said Reardon.

"The negotiations had ceased prior to any information about the possibility of same-sex marriages being conducted at the property."

Reardon said that Fairbanks and Beret had "made an offer for approximately half as much money for less than the whole property and the diocese rejected that offer."

"These people never came up with the money," said Reardon, who added that the leaked email had been sent out two days after the deadline for negotiations on the mansion.

Reardon also told CP that both the Worcester Diocese and the plaintiffs are seeking a summary judgment, which means they are requesting a decision by the judge without a trial based on the facts already present.

16 posted on 03/20/2014 7:52:38 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Immigration Reform is job NONE. It isn't even the leading issue with Hipanics. Enforce our laws.)
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To: Black Agnes
I think that you are wrong. If I'm selling my own property, I can choose to sell or not sell to any one. I can offer to sell, pull the offer, change the terms of the offer, whatever I want until I actually sell whatever it is I'm selling.

If I list the property with a realtor, then I can't control who buys the property. .

17 posted on 03/20/2014 7:56:07 PM PDT by skimbell
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To: Black Agnes
Once you put something up for sale you can’t control ‘who’ buys it.

So you put your house up for sale for a million dollars. I offer $300,000 and I only want to buy 1 acre, not 10.

I'll come over to sign the papers tomorrow.

18 posted on 03/20/2014 7:59:51 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Black Agnes

Why not? What if somebody planned to open an abortuary or center for satanic worship?


19 posted on 03/20/2014 8:15:30 PM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Black Agnes
How is this different than refusing to sell to a black couple?

Seriously? You insult black people everywhere by asking that question.

20 posted on 03/20/2014 8:31:54 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: ladyjane

Agreed. Also there is the following consideration. If the property was on a single parcel and someone only wanted to buy part of it, the parcel may need to be split and there may be zoning law effects on both resulting parcels. Would the buyers be willing to pay for this split? Probably not. Especially since they did not really want to buy the property but rather just wanted a legal battle with the diocese.


21 posted on 03/20/2014 8:32:46 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow. So they are suing because their offer of half the money for a portion of the property was not accepted.

Who leaked the emails?


22 posted on 03/20/2014 8:33:33 PM PDT by Girlene (Hey, NSA!)
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To: ElkGroveDan

Yes. Seriously. When you put your property up for sale you can’t discriminate against who purchases it. Period.

Get familiar with the law. Seriously.


23 posted on 03/20/2014 9:08:30 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: MSF BU

If you SELL it to them you have no control on what happens to it AFTER you SELL it.

Look up a nightclub in Manhattan named ‘Limelight’.


24 posted on 03/20/2014 9:09:03 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: ladyjane

You didn’t meet the sale price.

Reality: I offer my house for sale at $1m. You show up with $1m. If I turn you down I’d better have a darned good reason. Especially if the house *remains* for sale for $1m or less.

Or I can expect to get SUED.

Try selling a home in a major metro area. And being picky about who buys it. Realtors will drop you like hotcakes. They don’t want to get sued either.


25 posted on 03/20/2014 9:11:07 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: DBrow

“First Amendment: Freedom of association.”

Completely destroyed by the Civil Rights Act.


26 posted on 03/20/2014 9:11:57 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
When you put your property up for sale you can’t discriminate against who purchases it. Period.

You can by law specify the property's purpose or how it will be used in the future. If a buyer wants to burn it down or turn it into a hog farm the seller can reject that buyer. If The Church doesn't want to sell the property to those whose intent is to use and abuse the property through the practice of rectal sodomy within its walls, they can legally make that choice.

As noted above, for you to compare the cause of sexual perversion to the normal lives of normal black couples is beyond insulting to black people everywhere.

27 posted on 03/20/2014 9:37:42 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: Black Agnes

You can put conditions on selling real-estate it’s done all the time. their called covenants...


28 posted on 03/20/2014 9:44:14 PM PDT by babygene ( .)
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To: ElkGroveDan

Good luck enforcing that.

Are you planning on installing video cameras?

Would you sell a car to an 18yr old boy knowing he will likely fornicate in that car?

You have no way to prevent or enforce that.

And it’s not different from the ‘block busting’ that went on in the 1960’s. You either:

A: Own the property and can decide what to do with your own property.

or.

B: You do not own the property.

If you thought the civil rights act was about letting black people sit at lunch counters you seriously underestimated the original intent of its authors.

I bet you thought the immigration act wouldn’t dramatically change our demographics either. Didn’t you?

If the Church wanted to prevent this sort of open sale they should have offered it privately to parishioners that could afford it and not had it go on the open market.

Chalk this up to ‘unintended consequences’.


29 posted on 03/20/2014 9:52:23 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: babygene

And they’re shot down in the courts all the time. Depends on the state and locality whether or not those will actually stand.

And you can’t write them AFTER you offer the property on the open market. Ie, you can’t add them in after the fact when you find out someone ‘unsuitable’ is considering purchasing the property.

And what will you do when you find they HAVE been violating the covenants. How will you prove that? Cameras? Hear say? Can you afford a legal case that might take YEARS to resolve?

Good luck with that.


30 posted on 03/20/2014 9:55:38 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

Yeah. Read my previous reply again, this time slowly.


31 posted on 03/20/2014 9:59:26 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: ElkGroveDan

‘Everyone’ agreed with the civil rights act because ‘everyone’ agreed that blacks should sit at the lunch counter with whites.

However, what the civil rights act REALLY said was that the government could dictate to your business who and under what circumstances you would and could and should do business with.

In the 1960’s that was blacks. Now it’s gays.

And good luck enforcing the sodomy restrictions post sale. I really want to know how that will work out.

How would you feel if it were gays refusing to sell to straights?

The diocese really should have made the property available to a limited number of people prior to offering it for sale on the open market. If they are concerned about unsavory activities in the property in question they should take it off the market.


32 posted on 03/20/2014 10:05:40 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

Civil rights don’t apply to behavior. If they did, people who play and practice in rock bands would have noise ordinances overturned. Pyromaniacs would have arson laws overturned. Alcoholics would have drunk driving laws thrown out. Being black is not the same thing as getting your jollies from filthy sexual behavior.


33 posted on 03/20/2014 10:28:49 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: ElkGroveDan

You haven’t paid attention to the ‘hate crime’ legislation then have you? ‘sexual orientation’ is included in that.

Civil rights act + hate crime legislation including ‘sexual orientation’ makes this sort of thing a fait accompli.

And ‘behavior’ that takes place in the confines of ones home that is imperceptible to others isn’t applicable to noise ordinances. Unless you think peeping toms are public servants? Or you call the police when you hear the straight couple next door doing the nasty?

Listen. This has been the whole idea from the beginning.

I went to a VERY liberal arts college in the early 1980s in the deep south. One of the history profs was a former freedom marcher who’d been involved in the whole civil rights movement. He *bragged* that the civil rights act wasn’t just about blacks at lunch counters. It was about government deciding what the playing field was going to look like. He viewed it as a first step to the ultimate socialist state that he wanted this country to become. Government says who or what you can do business with means you no longer have a say in your own business. Only low info voters thought it was about blacks at lunch counters...

Prior to the hate crimes legislation discriminating against this sort of thing might have had a legal leg to stand on. Not anymore. Civil rights act says government dictates your customers based on predetermined criteria. Hate crimes legislation merely codifies that criteria after the fact.

I don’t like it one bit. Doesn’t change the fact that the diocese in question will get the snot sued out of them and end up selling the property against their wishes AND probably paying for a sodomite orgy with the legal winnings besides.

Friend of mine owns a formal dress store. I won’t go into the horrors she has had to experience with tranny customers. And every lawyer she’s talked to tells her that unless she wants the trannies to own her business she HAS to allow them in her shop. She’s had to request customers with little girls (honey booboo is a big hit in this area) come at pre specified times and private appointments to avoid the potential X rated dressing room. One of her tranny customers came running out of the dressing room, stark naked, holding a dress in one hand shouting ‘this will never do. never never never...’ Meanwhile the store was full of moms and daughters shopping for dresses for a local pageant. 6 year olds got an eyefull of grown naked man. And there’s nothing the store owner can do about it either...without getting sued.


34 posted on 03/20/2014 11:04:27 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
<>How is this different than refusing to sell to a black couple?<>

Racial discrimination in real estate deals is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act. Faggots are not yet a protected class.

35 posted on 03/21/2014 3:22:40 AM PDT by Jacquerie ( Article V.)
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To: NorthMountain

We’ll, on matters such as these, they better star helping each other.

There’s a real ugly movement by the Leftists out there, and we better start pushing back as one or else.


36 posted on 03/21/2014 4:26:50 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Immigration Reform is job NONE. It isn't even the leading issue with Hipanics. Enforce our laws.)
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To: Jacquerie

They are since the ‘hate crimes’ legislation in various states.


37 posted on 03/21/2014 5:53:37 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
These buyers didn't meet the sale price. They offered much less. Also they wanted a much smaller parcel of land. The diocese had every right to reject their offer.
38 posted on 03/21/2014 6:19:56 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: ladyjane

And yet if they’d met the terms of the sale they would have been obligated to sell it.

Next time you sell a house, tell the realtor you don’t want to sell it to gays. See what happens.

And even IF you sell it to straights how on earth would you be able to prevent THEM from subsequently selling it to gays.


39 posted on 03/21/2014 6:23:16 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

Agnes, a number of us are very informed about and active in real estate.

These guys made an OFFER. It was REJECTED. Happens every day.


40 posted on 03/21/2014 6:28:21 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: ladyjane

And if they’d met the initial terms of the sale you would have a problem if you rejected it.

Try it sometime.

‘I want to sell a house but I don’t want gays to buy it’.

See what happens.

Call a lawyer first though, just for kicks.


41 posted on 03/21/2014 6:34:19 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

The point is that they did not sell them.


42 posted on 03/21/2014 6:41:00 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: DoughtyOne
We’ll, on matters such as these, they better star helping each other.

I completely agree with that.

43 posted on 03/21/2014 6:43:31 AM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: MSF BU

Did you look up Limelight?

Deconsecrated church. Initially sold to a drug rehab program. Subsequently sold to Gatien who turned it into a really debauched nightclub. If only half the stories out of that place are true ...

If the diocese doesn’t want sodomy on the property how on earth would they prevent a ‘straight’ buyer from subsequently selling to a gay one?

And how on earth would they enforce that? Cameras? Drones? Facebook stalking? Inquiring minds would like to know how you’d enforce that. And what you’d do if you caught them at it? Throw them out? Revoke the sale? Years hence?


44 posted on 03/21/2014 6:44:29 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

I did look that up. What a beautiful building, I’d hate to think what the upkeep on that building would be. Also in the background two buildings with the ubiquitous water towers on the roof. I am glad to see they are still taking that precaution.


45 posted on 03/21/2014 6:49:29 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: MSF BU

There are dozens of former Christian churches in just such a predicament.

If the diocese doesn’t want sodomy in a particular building subsequent to having sold that building they should raze the building and simply sell the property.

It would be better had these deconsecrated churches been razed and the property itself sold. Western Europe is full of such ‘churches’.


46 posted on 03/21/2014 6:52:13 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

Agnes, the last sale I was involved in I rejected an all cash, no inspection or contingency, full price offer. It happens all the time in my market.

We had six other offers that were higher LOL It was a wonderful sale.


47 posted on 03/21/2014 7:01:58 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Black Agnes

I guess if you put it that way, there is plenty of sodomy that has gone on (and likely still does) in plenty of houses of worship!


48 posted on 03/21/2014 7:02:04 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: ladyjane

Because they were offered more money. If gays outbid the others it will be tricky to turn them down.

Try stating up front you don’t want gays to buy it.

See what happens.


49 posted on 03/21/2014 7:03:21 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes

In that sale a gay couple actually bought it. A rich gay couple. ;-)


50 posted on 03/21/2014 7:13:29 AM PDT by ladyjane
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