The Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the appeal recognizing the discriminatory act that the lesbian couple had undergone.
What a long battle! In 2007, Diane and Taeko from Long Beach, California planned to spend a vacation in Hawaii and they wanted to book a room at the Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu.
Initially, the owner of this B&B, Phyllis Young, had accepted the reservation until she realized that Diane and Taeko were a lesbian couple.
Helped by Lambda Legal, the couple had filed a complaint for discrimination.
In 2013, the First Circuit Court of Hawaii had ruled in favor of the lesbian couple recognizing the injustice they had suffered.
But Young didn’t want to let go and appealed this decision.
Too bad, in February 2018, the state’s Intermediate Court of Appeals upheld the discriminatory act.
In July of the same year, the Hawaii Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
In October, Phyllis Young appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming that her religious beliefs gave her the right to refuse to serve same-sex couples under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
And so the U.S. Supreme Court also refused to hear her case.
There is a law in Hawaii prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodation such as the Aloha Bed & Breakfast.
Young cannot, therefore, invoke her religion to justify her discriminatory act.
This is a great victory against discrimination given the number of courts that have acknowledged the harm suffered by Diane and Taeko.
Photo by AP