LGBT Hawaii thanked lesbian couple Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford from California for standing up for what is decent and right. “It makes a difference to all our LGBT visitors and for the travel and tourism industry and for our State as a whole. We welcome LGBT visitors with open arms”, said Scott Foster of LGBT Hawaii.
LGBT Hawaii issued a statement today applauding today’s ruling by the US Supreme Court that rejected the appeal of a Hawaii Bed and Breakfast owner who denied renting a room to a lesbian couple.
Their decision upholds an earlier Hawaiian State court ruling that found the Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Hawaii Kai violated Hawaii’s anti-discrimination law by denying the couple a room because of the owner’s religious beliefs. B&B owner Phyllis Young had admitted during the Hawaii court proceedings that she turned the women away because she believed that LGBT relationships were “detestable” and “defiled the land.”
California couple Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford were represented by Lambda Legal, a nonprofit LGBTQ rights organization.
Scott Foster of LGBT Hawaii said: There is no room for discrimination in Hawaii. Hawaii is an open and tolerant rainbow society ruled by the spirit of Aloha. We welcome every visitor, regardless where they are from, and regardless of their sexual orientation. We’re pleased with the decision of both the Hawaii and U.S. Supreme Court.
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Here is what happened: In 2007 a Lesbian couple Diane Cervilli and Taeko Bufford visited the Aloha State of Hawaii and booked a room at the Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu.
The owner of the B&B Phyllis Young refused to rent a room to the couple claiming a conflict with her religious belief. The couple went to court and a Hawaii State court ruled that Young ran afoul of Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which among other things bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Young took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court in the United States handed a defeat on Monday to a bed and breakfast owner in Hawaii who turned away the lesbian couple. Litigation will now continue to determine what penalty Young might face.