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The Boston Globe



Worcester diocese must obey state’s fair housing laws

There are no exemptions to fair housing laws for religious organizations in Massachusetts, nor should there be. So when the Diocese of Worcester terminated a real estate negotiation with a gay couple, apparently out of fear that a former church property might eventually be used for gay weddings, the diocese was on the wrong side of the law.

Defenders say the diocese should be able to prevent former church properties from being used for purposes of which the diocese disapproves. And in certain situations, such as turning former church buildings into bars, the diocese may be able to exercise its discretion as a property seller without trampling on anyone’s rights. But it can’t in the case at hand.

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