Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VERMONT: Lesbian Couple Sues Hotel For Refusing Their Wedding Reception

A lesbian couple has filed a lawsuit against a Vermont inn for refusing to host their wedding reception. Their suit was filed by the ACLU.
Kate Baker and Ming Linsley filed the suit on Tuesday in Vermont Superior Court, accusing the Wildflower Inn of Lyndonville of abruptly turning them away after learning they are lesbians. They claim the inn violated Vermont’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which prohibits inns, hotels, motels and other establishments with five or more rooms from turning away patrons based on sexual orientation. The law makes an exemption for religious organizations. Twenty-one other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. Greg Johnson, a law professor at Vermont Law School, said the suit could set a precedent as more states legalize same-sex marriage. Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, all of which protect gay men and lesbians in their public-accommodations laws.
According to the suit, the inn has turned away at least two other gay couples.