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We've Got Issues: Bay View religious discrimination case moves forward

Bay View Chautauqua Inclusiveness Group
Bay View Assocation was founded as a Methodist camp in 1875.

Update 4/30: An interview between IPR's David Cassleman and Morgan Springer has been added to this post.

A legal dispute about religious discrimination at a Michigan summer resort is moving forward. Bay View Association near Petoskey only allows practicing Christians to buy property there, which the Bay View Chautauqua Inclusiveness group – group that's suing – says is illegal.


Both sides in the dispute are asking a federal judge to skip typical court proceedings – like discovery and briefs – and make a decision based on the available facts. 

“Our motion is saying to the court, you have enough already – based on what Bay View admits it’s doing – to conclude that it’s violating the U.S Constitution, the federal Fair Housing Act and Michigan’s anti-discrimination and housing law,” says Sarah Prescott, the plaintiff's attorney.

The plaintiffs want the judge to issue an injunction, immediately stopping the summer resort from restricting home ownership based on religion.

Michael Bogren, Bay View's defense attorney, says Bay View is also asking for a ruling; they're looking for the judge to throw out parts of the lawsuit.

“We’re asking the judge to dismiss the claim for money damages," says Bogren.

The lawsuit asks for damages based on lost housing opportunities. Bogren says is not legal because the lawsuit was filed by a group not by individuals. The defense also disputes the lawsuit's claim that Bay View is a government entity.

Both sides will respond to the claims before they meet with a judge in July.

Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.