Should Gay Couple Sue Vermont Inn for Refusing to Host Their Reception?
Lesbian couple Katherine Baker and Ming-Lien Linsley were looking forward to their fully legal Vermont wedding later this year, and especially to their reception, which they had planned on booking at the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville.
The Vermont Convention Bureau said it would be the “perfect … destination wedding” reception location. Only, it wasn’t. Because the Wildflower Inn’s keepers “do not host gay receptions” due to personal opposition, ABC News reports.
Now, private businesses have a right to deny service based on sexual orientation… in some states. Vermont isn’t one of them. Their attorney was right; this is clear violation of Vermont’s anti-discrimination law.
A place of public accommodation means “any school, restaurant, store, establishment or other facility at which services, facilities, goods, privileges, advantages, benefits, or accommodations are offered to the general public.
What does the law say about discrimination in places of public accommodation?
Such places may not, on account of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or other protected characteristic, “refuse, withhold from or deny to that person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of the place of public accommodation.”
There might be some leeway with “general public,” but any autonomous individuals of legal age can get married and seek reception services. So I say… you gay couple, sue the shit out of them.