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Vermont inn, 2 women settle gay marriage lawsuit

BY DAVE GRAM, ASSOCIATED PRESS

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Two New York women and a Vermont country inn have settled a lawsuit that accused the business of refusing to host the couple's wedding reception.

The American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the Vermont Human Rights Commission and to place $20,000 in a charitable trust.

Under the settlement, the inn also agreed it would no longer host weddings and their receptions. The innkeepers' lawyer, Jim Campbell, said they had decided previously to end that part of their business.

"We're glad that the Wildflower Inn has recognized that the way we were treated was wrong and that no other family will have to experience what we did," said Ming Linsley in a statement released by the ACLU. "Although we found a different location and had a beautiful day, all families should feel welcome at any resort that's open to the public."

The ACLU said Ming Linsley and Kate Linsley contacted the civil rights organization after Ming's mother was told by the inn's events manager that the inn didn't host "gay receptions" because of the innkeepers' "personal feelings."

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