A judge in Honolulu, Hawaii, ruled that a local bed and breakfast owner discriminated against a lesbian couple when she refused to allow them to book a reservation upon learning they couple were of the same sex, reports Lambda Legal, which represented the couple.
The First Circuit Court of Hawaii ruled Monday in favor of the southern California lesbian couple, finding that the owner of the Aloha Bed & Breakfast violated the state's nondiscrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination in public accommodation due to sexual orientation, gender identity, race, sex, religion, ancestry, or disability. The judge ordered Aloha B&B to stop its ongoing practice of discriminating against same-sex couples.
When Diane Cervelli and Takeo Bufford were visiting friends in Hawaii Kai, Honolulu, in 2007, Cervelli called the Aloha B&B to book a room. When Cervelli told the owner she and her partner needed one bed, the owner asked if the couple were lesbians. Cervelli answered honestly, and that's when the owner said she was uncomfortable having lesbians in her house because of her religious views, according to Huffington Post.
"The Court today rejected a legal attack upon an important civil rights law that protects all people from discriminatory business practices," Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Peter Renn said in a statement. "The Court made clear that no business is above the law. When you enter the commercial world, you take on an obligation not to discriminate against customers, no matter what the color of their skin, what religion they practice, or whom they love. That very simple but fundamental principle was vindicated today."