Only Christians are allowed to buy houses in this Michigan town

A town in Michigan is only selling houses to Christian families. The idyllic town called Bay View is tucked away in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, according to The Guardian. For over a century, those who live there - often called "Bay Viewers" - would gather together and enjoy summer activities.

(PHOTO: Pixabay)

Bay View was originally a camping ground for Methodist families, but over the years, it has become a vacation spot for people who enjoy relaxing in century-old gingerbread cottages and sailing. However, the vacation spot is not open for all. Only practicing Christians are allowed to buy houses there, or even inherit them.

The homeowners association introduced a bylaw in 1947 and strengthened in 1986, which required residents to produce evidence of their faith, which could be a letter from a Christian minister testifying their active participation in church.

One of Bay View's residents, Sophie McGee, is an 80-year-old yoga lover with a PhD. She believes that the town's policies should be updated so it could be open to non-Christians. But not everyone agrees, including her husband, Glenn - a former Bay View Association board member.

"This place was founded with a purpose. People were coming to a camp meeting ground to participate in a Christian spiritual reawakening," said Glenn.

Because of this, the Bay View Association has now been slapped with a lawsuit which claims that the town is engaging in religious discrimination in violation of the U.S. and Michigan constitutions, Michigan's civil rights act, and the Fair Housing Act.

Mike Steinberg, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, believes the lawsuit is an "open-and-shut case."

"This is pure discrimination by a governmental entity. Bay View is clearly one and governmental entities cannot favor one religion over another, or religion over no religion," he said.