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Christian B&B owner forced to serve LGBT couples after US Supreme Court rejects appeal

Wed 20 Mar 2019
By Premier Journalist

The Christian owners of a Bed and Breakfast in Hawaii will have to make rooms available to LGBT couples after they lost their appeal at the US Supreme Court.

Phyllis Young, the owner of Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, Hawaii, refused to offer a room in her home to Diane Cervili and Taeko Bufford in 2007 due to her religious beliefs about marriage.

Cervili and Bufford sued Young over her actions and accused her of discriminating against them because of their sexuality.

A lower court had ruled that Young should have served the lesbian couple despite it being a violation of her religious beliefs.

Alliance Defending Freedom represented Young and argued that because she "only rented 1-3 rooms in her personal home she did not fall under the Hawaii public accommodations law that makes sexual-orientation discrimination unlawful."

However, a state court found Young in violation of Hawaii's Civil Rights Commissions' public accommodation law. That law applies to hospitality, entertainment, and transportation services and makes it "illegal to deny a person access to or to treat them unequally in a place of public accommodation" because of a person's religion, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

On Monday, the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Christian bed and breakfast owner, thus upholding the lower court's ruling in favour of the lesbian couple.

Litigation will continue to determine what penalty the Christian business owner must face.

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