The director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights says a group affiliated with the Methodist Church discriminated against a lesbian couple.

Gay Flag
Oleksiy Maksymenko, Getty Images

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association didn't let the couple use its boardwalk pavilion for a 2007 civil union ceremony.

The venue overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and was advertised for weddings.

Director Craig Sashihara says the association violated the state's anti-discrimination law by not allowing a civil union to take place in the pavilion.

Sashihara says the group receives tax breaks requiring the pavilion to be open to all. He said it must abide by public accommodation laws because people use it when there are no events.

The decision upholds a January ruling by an administrative law judge.

The group could not be reached for comment.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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