No room at Vermont inn for lesbian couple

Posted by Sean Bugg
July 20, 2011 1:17 PM |

“After our conversation, I checked with my innkeepers and unfortunately due to their personal feelings, they do not host gay receptions at our facility.”

Couple Sues a Vermont Inn for Rejecting Gay Wedding - email from the event coordinator for Vermont's Wildflower Inn regarding Kate Baker and Ming Linsley, a lesbian couple who had been referred to the popular resort by the state convention and visitor bureau. Linsley's mother, Channie Peters, made the initial contact with the resort and corrected the event coordinator's use of the "bride and groom" by noting the ceremony would be two brides. The email came shortly after that conversation ended, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of the couple. Said Peters:

"I was just incredulous.... It was a real punch because it was the first place and it was scary because am I going to run into this in every place I call?"

Baker said, "I just felt stunned.... And it wasn't until a little while later that I started feeling more angry about it." After "feeling lousy" for two months, she said they looked into the legality of the rejection:

"We were thinking we might not have only a right but a duty to speak up about it.... It wasn’t just about us. It was preventing other people from having the same negative experience around what should be such a positive life marker."

Vermont law prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation, with an exemption only for religious organizations. (New York Times

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