Bed and Breakfast Owners Fined $4,500 After Canceling Gay Couple’s Reservation [POLL]
A retired couple running a now-closed bed and breakfast in British Columbia, Canada denied a gay couple access to their establishment.
Now, they have to pay the price. Literally.
The couple has been fined more than $4,500 for their actions by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
The couple, Les and Susan Molnar, hold Christian beliefs that oppose same-sex relationships. They canceled a reservation for Shaun Eadie and his partner Brian Thomas at their River-bed Bed and Breakfast back in July 2009 upon discovering the Vancouver-based duo reserved a room with a single bed and admitted to being gay over the phone.
The Molnars banned the pair from their home, where they conducted prayer meetings and felt responsible for guest behavior. The couple also felt they would have “shamed the Lord” had they let Eadie and Thomas stay. They also believed they were protected by freedom of religion and that the cancelation was justified.
The Human Rights Tribunal saw things differently, especially since the lodging accommodations were separate from the Molnar’s living quarters. In fact, the operation was more like a hotel. It was not run by a church, so the freedom of religion argument didn’t fly.
“Having entered into the commercial sphere, the Molnars, like other business people, were required to comply with the laws of the province…that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” Tribunal member Enid Marion wrote.
The Molnars were ordered to pay each complainant $1,500 for damages; $340 for travel expenses; and more than $400 for lost wages to attend the hearing.
Interestingly enough, the couple closed their business in September of 2009.