A judge ruled in favor of a couple who were denied a stay at a Hawaiian bed and breakfast for being lesbians. The suit was filed back in 2011 and was finally settled yesterday with a ruling establishing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Aloha Bed and Breakfast in Honolulu used to be known for their quaint location but now they have a new reputation. Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford were looking for a place to stay near their friend who lives in Honolulu back in 2007.
Cervelli said that everything was going well until she requested one bed for their stay. B&B owner Phyllis Young then asked Cervelli if she was a lesbian, which led to Young saying she was uncomfortable having a same-sex couple in her home and that their business was not welcomed there.
Looking at reviews for the B&B, this wasn’t the first time they turned away couples. In a review on Yahoo! Travel, a vacationer gave a one star rating to the establishment.
“We can’t review this place because at the time of check-in my fiancé and I were asked if we were married. When we happily replied, ‘not yet’ we were told that our business was not welcome there.”
Young was represented by anti-gay group The Alliance Defense Fund, which advocates for anti-gay and religious believers in “traditional” marriage.
Cerevelli said that even though they found another place to stay, the experience was hurtful and harmful.
The court ruled that Aloha B&B violated the public accommodations law, which prohibits establishments that provide accommodations from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, race, color, ancestry, religion, disability and sex, including gender identity or expression.