* Todd Wathen of Mattoon and his male partner began planning a civil union ceremony shortly after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the civil unions bill into law. So, they contacted a couple of swanky Downstate bed and breakfasts. Both B&Bs turned them down…
In an e-mail reply to Wathen, Jim A. Walder of the TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast wrote: “We will never host same-sex civil unions. We will never host same-sex weddings even if they become legal in Illinois.
“We believe homosexuality is wrong and unnatural based on what the Bible says about it. If that is discrimination, I guess we unfortunately discriminate,” Walder wrote.
When informed of the new law, Walder replied, “The Bible does not state opinions, but facts. It contains the highest laws pertinent to man. It trumps Illinois law, United States law, and global law should there ever be any.”
There are a couple of public accommodations exceptions in the Illinois Human Rights Act. Owner-occupied inns with 5 or fewer rooms to let don’t have to follow the racial, gender, religion, sexual orientation laws. Timber Creek has more than 5 rooms, so the business apparently must comply with the law of the land. From the statute…
Civil Rights Violations: Public Accommodations. It is a civil rights violation for any person on the basis of unlawful discrimination to:
(A) Enjoyment of Facilities, Goods, and Services. Deny or refuse to another the full and equal enjoyment of the facilities, goods, and services of any public place of accommodation;
(B) Written Communications. Directly or indirectly, as the operator of a place of public accommodation, publish, circulate, display or mail any written communication, except a private communication sent in response to a specific inquiry, which the operator knows is to the effect that any of the facilities of the place of public accommodation will be denied to any person or that any person is unwelcome, objectionable or unacceptable because of unlawful discrimination;
* The Question: What are you thoughts on this story?
Try to be civil in comments, please. I have lots of work to do today and don’t want to spend too much time policing y’all. Thanks.