Gay couple says church won't sell mansion to them
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- The Worcester dioceses told two men that a mansion they’re interested in buying is not for sale to them.
Those two men, who are married, want to buy the million dollar home and hold weddings there, but the church is concerned about what kind of weddings would take place and said no deal.
Alain Beret and his husband Jim Fairbanks say the diocese of Worcester won’t sell them the Oakhurst Mansion because they’re gay. They said the church is afraid they may hold gay weddings there.
“When this kind of thing surfaces, if you go quietly into that sunset, then it continues and I think it needs to stop,” said Beret.
The diocese and the broker handling the sale did not return calls attempted by 7News on Friday afternoon.
The couple gave 7News an email they said is from the monsignor to a real estate broker, the monsignor said “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.”
The email was mistakenly sent to Beret and Fairbanks as well.
“All I can tell you is the blood rushed from my head in total disbelief. Here we are in the 21st Century in Massachusetts and we’re experiencing this kind of discrimination,” said Beret.
Beret and Fairbanks said they want to turn the home into an inn and use it for all weddings.
“Gay weddings, straight weddings, Jewish weddings, Muslim weddings,” said Beret.
The couple of 34 years, who wed in 2004, is seeking legal action.
The Oakhurst Mansion, built in 1890, has quite a bit of history. It’s best known as the former House of Affirmation, a treatment home for pedophile priests.