A lesbian couple have won a lawsuit over a hotel in Vermont which refused to host their wedding reception.
The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville told Kate Linsley (nee Baker) and Ming Linsley via email in 2010 that they could not host their event last year because of ‘personal feelings’.
But innkeepers Mary and Jim O’Reilly have been forced to reach a settlement with the New Yorkers, paying $10,000 to the Vermont Human Rights Commission and placing $20,000 in a charitable trust to be disbursed by the Linsleys, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Vermont.
It will also no longer be allowed to host wedding receptions, reported Reuters.
‘We’re glad that the Wildflower Inn has recognized that the way we were treated was wrong and that no other family will have to experience what we did,’ said Ming Linsley, 35, who along with her partner filed the complaint at Vermont Superior Court.
‘All families should feel welcome at any resort that’s open to the public.’
It is illegal for inns such as The Wildflower from denying goods and services based on customers’ sexual orientation.
‘The Wildflower Inn has always served – and will continue to serve – everyone in our community,’ Jim O’Reilly said in a statement.
‘But no one can force us to abandon our deeply held beliefs about marriage.’
Same-sex unions have legal in the US state of Vermont since 2000 and gay marriage was legalized in 2009.