Honolulu, Hawaii — A Christian-owned bed and breakfast establishment in Hawaii has been ordered to accommodate homosexuals who seek lodging for the night following a ruling by the First Circuit Court.
Phyllis Young of Aloha Bed and Breakfast in Honolulu was sued in 2011 by two lesbian women from California, who claimed that Young violated Hawaii’s discrimination law by denying them a bed.
Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford patronized the bed and breakfast in 2007 while visiting a friend in the area, and requested a room. According to reports, when Cervelli noted that the two only needed one bed, Young asked if the women were lesbians. When Cervelli admitted that it was indeed the case, Young explained that she did not feel comfortable with the arrangement because of her Christian beliefs.
The women then reported the matter to the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, who then came knocking at Young’s residence. According to the Commission’s report, Young told investigators that her convictions did not permit her to accommodate the women, and that homosexual behavior is a “detestable” practice that “defiles our land.”
The Commission later joined the lawsuit, which was filed by LAMBDA, a homosexual legal organization, on behalf of Cervelli and Bufford.
“We just want to be treated like everyone else,” Bufford told reporters following the filing of the suit. “It’s not about changing her beliefs or changing her religion, it’s about accepting us like you’re accepting any other client that comes in [the door].”
Now, a judge in the First Circuit of Hawaii has ruled that Young violated Hawaii’s public accommodations law, which states that businesses may not “deny, or attempt to deny, a person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation on the basis of race, sex, including gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, color, religion, ancestry, or disability.”
The court declared that Young must provide a bed to homosexuals in compliance with the law.
“The court’s decision is based on Hawaii’s strong state civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination,” commented Hawaii Civil Rights Commission Executive Director William Hoshijo. “When visitors or residents are subjected to discrimination, they suffer the sting of indignity, humiliation and outrage, but we are all demeaned and our society diminished by unlawful discrimination.”
However, Young’s attorney, Jim Hochberg of Honolulu, told reporters that the ruling completely ignores the bed and breakfast owner’s First Amendment rights.
“The public needs to be aware of this decision because it has far-reaching consequences,” he said.
As recently reported, attorney Stephen Crampton with Liberty Counsel told Christian News Network that if the Supreme Court endorses homosexual “marriage” in June, cases such as these will become more commonplace.
“Not only will they not tolerate religious folks saying no to homosexuals, not only will they find or run out of business or force the little businesses to bow the knee, they will seek them out and target them,” he said.
Last August, Wildflower Inn in Vermont agreed to pay $10,000 in fines and another $20,000 in settlement funds to two lesbian women after an employee stated that the facility did not host same-sex ceremonies. Owners Jim and Mary O’Reilly stopped hosting weddings altogether in an effort to avoid any further conflicts.
Photo: Trip Advisor