The owners of the Riverbend B&B have been fined $4,500 by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to accept a reservation from a gay couple.
The tribunal didn’t buy the argument from owners Les and Susan Molnar, who are Mennonite, that they they didn’t rent a room to Vancouver couple Shaun Eadie and Brian Thomas because the inn was part of the Molnar’s home and they feel responsible for guests’ behavior.
But Thomas and Eadie argued that even though it was out of their home, the bed-and-breakfast was a public accommodation and therefore subject to provincial laws. The tribunal agreed, with member Enid Marion writing in her judgement: “While the business was operated by individuals with sincere religious beliefs respecting same-sex couples, and out of a portion of their personal residence, it was still a commercial activity.”
Thomas told The Province he and Eadie were “very happy” with the ruling. “It hopefully sets a precedent for people to feel empowered to fight discrimination face on.”
Sadly, the Riverbend has been shuttered since the men filed their complaint, and the Molnars say they have no plans to reopen. But honestly, did they really think they could run a bed-and-breakfast and turn away queer couples?
We’re, like, the backbone of the B&B industry.
“We’re, like, the backbone of the B&B industry.”
Um, no we’re not. I worked at two during my college summers and I’ve only seen one lesbian couple. Their ‘backbone’ is middle aged+ couples and heterosexual newlyweds.
Might want to do some actual research next time before making such an authorative assumption.
@DouggSeven: Queerty do background research? Too much trouble to use google, much easier to just quickly type some snarky thoughts and hit upload.
@DouggSeven: I think it was the Queerty equivalent of sarcastic humor.
I LOVE these people that run a public business and yet think that they can break the laws of discrimination.
If somebody owned the only gas station in a small town, what would happen if they decided not to serve women, or black people etc.. Are those people supposed to drive to another town to get gas? Idiotic.
The endless tide of snide remarks directed towards this website irritate me to no end. If you don’t like the site, here’s an idea: stop reading it! Enough with the bitchy queen routine. By the way, my partner and I always stay at B&Bs. So, bite me.
Mr. Enemabag Jones
I would just like to say that my Partner and I both Love staying at B&B’s. We have been to many that have treated us wonderful all over the united states. I would also like to say that while I hate descrimination as much as the next person I also would have no interest in staying somewhere I wasn’t welcome. I agree that if a business is located in a public venue like a hotel, resteraunt, a non- resident B&B and so forth that no one should have a right to turn anyone away based on normal discreminatory topics. However, when someone is operating a business from their own home they should have a right to choose who they allow into it. If I had a B&B that supposedly catered to a gay clientel i would not want a straight couple in there making everyone, including themselfes uncomfortable. Its a double edged sword. Where do we draw the line. Do the research on the place you wish to go. Honestly look into it and make sure its a place where you want to spend your time. Why would you want to force yourself into someones home and make them deal with you. Its unpleasent for everyone involved. We, as a community, have become so focused on oour own rights and pains that we are forgetting about those of the other people we share this world with. We want people to accept us because its the right thing to do not because the law says thay have too. if its only the law thats protecting us, the law will get broken more and more with even worse outcome that being told we can’t have a room.
Hate is wrong no matter what, but you can’t fix it with more hate.
Getting off my soap box now.
@Andrew: If you can make Logo bring back 365gay.com, I’ll head over there and never look back.
However, since it has gone, one has to deal with the alternatives.
towleroad is chaotic, pinknews is focused on the UK first and the rest of the world a far second and the Advocate looks like a clone of the NY Times website.
At least Queerty has an RSS feed, so you can skim the headlines and focus on whatever tickles your fancy 🙂
@Andrew: Yea, having an opposing opinion on a matter is just evil.
Oh, and where do you like to be ‘bitten’?
I have been running a b&b in Santa Fe, NM for 17 years and our demographics show that, on average, we have about 50 – 50, gay to non-gay. On many days, we are all gay, and then next all non-gay. Those that don’t see gay people are probably not advertising and seeking their business, which is a total shame, as out gay guests are a major factor in our success.
@Ron: 365gay.com was a great site.
@DouggSeven: It’s not an issue of having an opposing viewpoint. I’m all for them. It’s the constant critiques of the site that get under my skin. Is the site perfect? No. Can it get better? Definitely. Will mean-spirited comments help either way? Probably not. As for biting me, I’ll have to think that one over…
@James: So if they refused to serve blacks, women, handicapped people or any other minority that would be cool also?
Why are you so afraid of straights that you would discriminate? We have straight couples that come to the gay campground we go to, and they are perfectly welcome.
When I read the original article, the Christian couple argued that they thought there wouldn’t be a problem because they told the gay couple “in a respectful tone” that they couldn’t stay.
In other words, they broke the law but thought because they did it in “a respectful tone”, that they could get away with it.
Do we really live in an Orwellian world where throwing some one out because they are different than you, casting judgement, treating people poorly is suddenly to be called “morals and values”?
Just another example of how some are trying to make religion beliefs a special right that exempts them from the law.
Because they do. I get it a lot here in the Deep South, usually with the prefix, “Bless your heart(s)”…then the bigotry.
A big reason the only Christians in my life are family…I have to Tolerate their Beliefs.
@Pat Duffy: No you do not. I never tolerated the beliefs of any of my family members. I made it known rather quickly that I was an out and proud atheist. When they start talking about their religious beliefs I shoot them down pretty quickly.
In Winnipeg….this Menonite couple would have received a Medal!!!
Damn I remember years ago every gAy couple I’d meet wanted to own a b&b….it’s was a freakin mantra…”Rodney and I are looking at country properties and we’d like to open a b&b’….I grew so sick of hearing it….
@Andrew: Thank you, Andrew. I could not agree more.
If you find Queerty so irritating then go get your succinct gay news elsewhere.
Would it be legal for them to allow anyone to stay there, but also have a rule (again, applied to all guests) against having sex?
(It would be terrible for business, of course, but it might be a way to keep within the law, remain open, *and* stop what they see as immoral activity under their roof.)
“If I had a B&B that supposedly catered to a gay clientel i would not want a straight couple in there making everyone, including themselfes uncomfortable.
Why would a heterosexual couple sleeping together in a bedroom and minimally interacting with you make you uncomfortable? For that matter, why would you assume that the heterosexual couple would be uncomfortable?
“Its a double edged sword.”
It’s only a double-edged sword because you make the faulty assumption that all gays want to discriminate while not being discriminated against.
@Nat: The argument works better for bars.
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