Two Southern California lesbians have won their legal battle against a Christian bed and breakfast owner in Hawaii.
The Hawaii First Circuit Court judge ruled on April 11 that the owner of Aloha Bed & Breakfast violated state law when she told Taeko Bufford and Diane Cervelli she was not comfortable having them stay together in her home because of her religious beliefs. The ruling was announced Monday.
The two women had requested a room with a single bed, and when the owner asked if they were lesbians, they answered truthfully.
According to the ruling, the bed and breakfast violated the state public accommodations law and is ordered, from now on, to provide a room to any same-sex couple that wishes stay there.
The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission joined the lawsuit, and it’s executive director hailed the decision for upholding the state’s civil rights laws: "When visitors or residents are subjected to discrimination, they suffer the sting of indignity, humiliation and outrage, but we are all demeaned and our society diminished by unlawful discrimination," William Hoshijo said.
But Jim Hochberg, a Honolulu attorney representing the bed and breakfast's owner said Monday the ruling tramples her First Amendment rights: "The public needs to be aware of this decision because it has far-reaching consequences."