Thursday, 22 December 2011 01:54

Lesbian Couple Discriminated By Hawaii Bed And Breakfast

Written by 

Diane Cervelli Taeko Bufford

A lesbian couple, Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford, were victim of discrimination by a Hawaii bed and breakfast's owner.

Whereas Diane, 42, wanted to book a room for two, the owner, Phyllis Young, asked her whether they were lesbian. Diane answered that yes and the owner indicated she could not accept their reservation pretexting religious beliefs.

Cervelli said: "In my past experiences in Hawaii, people have been so friendly," she said. "It was just hurtful. It made me feel we weren't good enough."

But what the owner apparently didn't know is that Hawaii's public accommodation law prohibit any inn or other establishment that provides lodging from discriminating based on sexual orientation, race, sex, gender identity or expression, religion, ancestry or disability. According to Associated Press, Hawaii Civil Rights Commission investigated and issued a notice of "reasonable cause to believe that unlawful discriminatory practices have been committed" and notified the couple of their right to sue.

Moreover, Peter Renn of Lambda Legal's Los Angeles office (the couple is from Long Beach, CA) said Lambda Legal is also looking into whether the bed and breakfast is licensed to operate. Aloha Bed & Breakfast is not on a list of properties approved for transient vacation unit or bed and breakfast use that have been issued nonconforming use certificates by Honolulu's Department of Planning and Permitting. (Ouch)