Alliance Defense Fund to defend bed and breakfast owner accused of discrimination

Published: Dec. 20, 2011 at 10:41 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2011 at 10:49 PM HST
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Lambda Legal press conference
Lambda Legal press conference

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A non-profit that describes itself as the world's largest religious civil liberties legal organization is getting involved in a discrimination lawsuit filed on Oahu Monday by a lesbian couple.

Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford of Los Angeles are suing a bed and breakfast in Hawaii Kai, claiming they were denied a room reservation because of their sexual orientation.

The Alliance Defense Fund has now stepped in to help defend Phyllis Young, the owner of Aloha Bed and Breakfast. The group says Young has the right to her sincerely-held religious beliefs and the right to express them.

"This lawsuit threatens those fundamental freedoms," Dale Schowengerdt, ADF legal counsel, said. "At the end of the day, no business owner should be forced to violate his or her religious beliefs because someone is offended by those beliefs."

Lambda Legal filed the suit on behalf of Cervelli and Bufford, accusing Aloha B & B of breaking Hawaii's public accommodation law. The law requires equal access to facilities and services regardless of a person's race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.


Lawsuit filed after lesbian couple denied room at Hawaii Kai bed and breakfast

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