September 2018 Chuch & State Magazine - September 2018

Hawaii Court Rules Against B&B That Turned Away Lesbians

  Liz Hayes

A Hawaii appeals court ruling that a bed and breakfast discriminated against a lesbian couple will stand after the Hawaii Supreme Court declined to take up the case on July 10.

Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford of Long Beach, Calif., tried to book a room at Aloha Bed & Breakfast in 2007. When they said they would need just one bed, the B&B’s owner canceled the reservation, citing her religious beliefs about LGBTQ people.

“We thought the days when business owners would say, ‘we’re open to the public – but not to you,’ was a thing of the past,” Bufford said in a statement to AP after the appeals court’s ruling in February. “You don’t have to change your beliefs, but you do have to follow the law just as everyone else does.”

Like Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, the B&B is one of several businesses that are represented by Religious Right legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and are in courts around the country seeking the right to use religion to justify discrimination against the LGBTQ community. An ADF attorney told the AP they were considering their options following the Hawaii Supreme Court’s decision.

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As Supreme Court Entertains Attack On Civil Rights Laws In 303 Creative, Americans United Reminds Nation Of What’s At Stake

Americans United for Separation of Church and State joined 29 religious freedom organizations in filing an amicus brief that explained how anti-discrimination laws like Colorado’s protect religious minorities as well as LGBTQ people and customers with other protected characteristics, such as race, sex, age and ability.

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