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Thursday, October 18, 2018
Lesbians Mandatory? Aloha B&B Case Appealed to US Supreme Court
By Andrew Walden @ 4:55 AM :: 4820 Views :: First Amendment, Small Business

by Andrew Walden

In February, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled that a small live-in B&B must obey public accommodations law in a case where two lesbians attempted to gain entry into a Christian home.

Now, attorneys representing Aloha Bed and Breakfast are appealing to the United States Supreme Court.

(UPDATE Nov 28, 2018: 'Distributed for Conference' set for January 4, 2019.)

Here is an excerpt from the Writ of Certiorari filed October 10, 2018:

QUESTIONS PRESENTED

Phyllis Young, a retiree, rents three bedrooms in her family home using the name Aloha Bed & Breakfast to make ends meet. She welcomes everyone as guests provided they abide by her “house rules,” including that no romantic partners share a bedroom unless they are a married man and woman. When a same-sex couple tried to reserve a bedroom in advance, Mrs. Young explained that accommodating them would violate her religious beliefs, cited Hawai`i’s Mrs. Murphy exemption, and referred the couple to a nearby friend who was happy to host them.

The Hawai`i Intermediate Court of Appeals judicially rewrote the “Mrs. Murphy exemption” for the first time in Mrs. Young’s case, holding that it applied only to long-term rentals. The Court then declared Mrs. Young’s family home a place of public accommodation, and held her in violation of state public-accommodations law. This renders her liable for compensatory, treble, and punitive damages, statutory fines, and ruinous attorney fees and costs in conflict with this Court’s precedent and decisions by the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and D.C. Circuits.

The questions presented are:

1. Whether holding Mrs. Young liable without fair notice that her actions could be unlawful violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

2. Whether the Commission’s efforts to punish Mrs. Young for exercising her religious beliefs in her own home violate the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.

PDF: WRIT 211 pgs

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