Thursday, December 01, 2016

Liability of B&B Upheld For Refusing To Host Same-Sex Ceremony

A 3-member panel of the Illinois Human Rights Commission has adopted a hearing examiner's recommendations (see prior posting) and ruled against a bed-and-breakfast that refused to host a same-sex civil union ceremony.  In Wathen v. Walder Vocuflo, Inc., (IL HRC, Nov. 18, 2016), the commission accepted the recommended damages of $30,000 for emotional distress as well as $51,218 in attorneys' fees and costs. In a press release announcing the decision, the Illinois ACLU said in part:
The Commission’s decision once again sends a clear message that denying couples the use of a public wedding venue in Illinois because they are gay or lesbian is simply not permitted. Business owners cannot pick-and-choose to follow laws simply because they personally disagree with same-sex couples’ decision to marry.
According to the Chicago Tribune, attorneys for the bed-and-breakfast say they will seek review from the full Commission and, if necessary, by the Illinois Court of Appeals.