Hawaiian B&B Loses Court Case After Turning Away Lesbian Couple

A Bed and Breakfast in Hawaii has lost its court appeal against a lesbian couple after it refused to host them.

Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford were asked to leave when trying to check into the Aloha B&B in Honolulu.

Phyllis Young, the owner of the B&B told the couple that she was uncomfortable having gay people in her home, saying she thinks homosexual relationships are “detestable” and “defiled the land.”

It is illegal in Hawaii to deny public accommodation to anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation, along with their race, gender identity, religion or disability.

Hawaii’s Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled that Young had been discriminatory by refusing them a room based on their sexuality.

The court rejected Young's argument of refusing service due to religious reasons, as reported in Hawaii News Now

Jennifer Pizer of pro-LGBT law firm Lambda Legal spoke out to the news source, saying: “This has never been a case about the money.

“It’s really been about a civil rights law that needs to protect everyone, it needs to be real and it needs to be followed. When people come for a vacation or other reasons to visit in Hawaii, everyone should be treated equally.”

Ms Cervelli spoke about the experience and the exchange with Young, saying:

“[The owner] asked me point-blank, ‘are you a lesbian?’

“I answered truthfully, and the next thing out of her mouth was ‘you can’t stay here’.”

Bufford added: ”I was in disbelief, because this has never happened to me before, even as an African-American. So now I’m facing discrimination just by being with someone I love.

“Some people continue to use their religious beliefs to discriminate and find ways around it. It’s really important that we are protected and we have our rights.”

Although this was a quite clearly stressful ordeal, we are glad to see that justice has been served.

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