Saturday, February 24, 2018

State Appeals Court Rejects Religious Defense By B&B That Rejected Lesbian Couple

In Cervelli v. Aloha Bed & Breakfast, (HI App., Feb. 23, 2018), a Hawaii sate appeals court held that a 3-room bed & breakfast violated the state's public accommodation law when the B&B owner refused on religious grounds to accept a room reservation from a lesbian couple.  The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The court held that an exemption in a separate housing discrimination statute for small rooming houses does not apply to the public accommodation law.  The court also rejected defendant's state and federal constitutional privacy and free exercise defenses, finding that the state has a compelling interest in prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations.  Hawaii News Now reports on the decision.