Quantcast
Connect with us

US Supreme Court rebuffs Hawaii B&B that turned away lesbian couple

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a new dispute involving gay and religious rights, leaving in place a lower court ruling against a Hawaii bed and breakfast owner who turned away a lesbian couple, citing Christian beliefs.

The justices refused to hear an appeal by Phyllis Young, who runs the three-room Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, of the ruling that she violated a state anti-discrimination law by refusing to rent a room to Diane Cervilli and Taeko Bufford in 2007.

ADVERTISEMENT

A state court ruled that Young ran afoul of Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which among other things bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Litigation will now continue to determine what penalty Young might face.

Young said her decision to turn away the same-sex couple was protected by her right to free exercise of religion under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

The case was appealed to the nine justices in the wake of the high court’s narrow 2018 decision siding with a baker from Colorado who refused based on his Christian beliefs to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. That decision did not resolve the question of whether business owners can claim religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.

The justices merely decided that a Colorado state commission did not handle the case against the baker appropriately and sent the dispute back for further proceedings. In October, the commission threw out its case against the baker.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Supreme Court in that case also did not address important claims including whether baking a cake is a kind of expressive act protected by the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee, a question not raised in the Hawaii case.

The conservative-majority court has a separate appeal pending involving a different bakery, in Oregon, that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

In the Hawaii case, Cervilli and Bufford sued in 2011 and were joined in the litigation by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, a state agency. They are no longer a couple.

ADVERTISEMENT

Young is Catholic and “the only romantic partners allowed to share a bedroom are a married man and woman,” her lawyers said in court papers. Young argued among other things that she could not be sanctioned because private homes that rent fewer than four rooms are exempt from Hawaii’s housing laws. Young appealed to the Supreme Court after the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled against her in 2018.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Russia and China blast US missile test

Published

on

Russia and China warned Tuesday that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow.

The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord.

Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.

The US Department of Defense announced on Monday it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Leaked audio shows oil lobbyist bragging about success in criminalizing pipeline protests

Published

on

"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Derrick Morgan of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump’s latest attempt to smear Scaramucci dunked in mockery

Published

on

At least one White House or campaign staffer apparently helped President Donald Trump attack his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- and he was met with mockery.

The president tweeted out a supercut video late Monday of Scaramucci defending Trump before his recent public disavowal, and attacked his former staffer as a "dope" who's seeking fame.

Nobody ever heard of this dope until he met me. He only lasted 11 days! pic.twitter.com/RzX3zjXzga

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image