Lesbian couple Ming Linsley and Kate
Baker have sued Wildflower Inn in Vermont for refusing to host their
The couple filed their lawsuit on
Tuesday in Vermont Superior Court.
The lawsuit, filed by the American
Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Vermont chapter, claims the 24-room
inn violated Vermont's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act,
which prohibits establishments with five or more rooms from
discrimination based on sexual orientation. Religious organizations
are exempt from the law.
According to the lawsuit, Linsley's
mother, Channie Peters, was told the inn does not host gay events.
“After our conversation, I checked
with my Innkeepers and unfortunately due to their personal feelings,
they do not host gay receptions at our facilities,” an employee
told Peters in an email titled “bad news” after she had contacted
“This case is about discrimination,
plain and simple,” the ACLU said in a statement. “When a
business that is open to the public refuses to serve two people and
their guests solely because the two people are a same sex couple, it
is no different than restaurants not serving individuals because they
were black, or other businesses keeping out women or Jews. It is
discrimination and it is illegal.”