Published: Oct 22, 2012 6:06 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 23, 2012 6:32 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Christian couple from Vermont that was sued for refusing to host a lesbian couple's wedding reception at their inn is featured in a new TV ad in Maine opposing a referendum seeking to legalize same-sex marriage.

In the ad, Jim O'Reilly of the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville says he and his wife paid $30,000 to settle the lawsuit and can no longer host any weddings because they don't support gay marriage because of their religious beliefs. A voiceover then says, "Vote No on Question 1 to avoid this in Maine," a reference to the Nov. 6 ballot question asking Maine residents if they want to legalize same-sex marriage.

Supporters of Maine's gay marriage referendum say the O'Reillys were sued because they violated Vermont's anti-discrimination laws, and note that Maine already has a similar law that prevents businesses from discriminating against gay couples.

Gay marriage issues also are on the Nov. 6 ballot in Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state.

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%@AP Links

235-w-29-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with Jim O'Reilly, Vermont innkeeper)--A Christian couple from Vermont that was sued for refusing to host a lesbian couple's wedding reception at their inn is featured in a new TV ad in Maine opposing a referendum seeking to legalize same-sex marriage. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (22 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *235 (10/22/12)>> 00:29

236-a-09-(Jim O'Reilly, Vermont innkeeper, in ad by Protect Marriage Maine)-"at our inn"-Jim O'Reilly, a Vermont innkeeper, says he and his wife were penalized for practicing their faith. (22 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *236 (10/22/12)>> 00:09 "at our inn"