Recently, the fight for human equality founds itself coming to a head in the tourism industry yet again. In a recent case in British Columbia, the Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Les and Susan Molnar, a retired religious couple who own and run a bed and breakfast. The couple discriminated against two gay men by cancelling the telephone reservation for their room with a single bed at their B&B.
Because the Bed and Breakfast is different than the Molnar’s personal living space and run like a commercial business, the tribunal ruled that the Molnars had to comply with the province’s law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The gay couple’s feelings were hurt that they were discriminated against so they pressed charges and received thousands of dollars in damages from the religious elderly couple.
While we are always a fan of members of the gay community getting justice for situations in which they have been discriminated against. However, many people believe that the Molnars have no legal obligation to accept clients at their bed and breakfast, the same way they have no legal obligation to invite use discretion against who they invite into their home. What’s more, if the Molnars won’t rent to the gays, then somebody else will. Many take this controversy as a great example of why it is sometimes beneficial for the anti-gays to “out” themselves so we can use discretion against them while deciding where to spend our money.
With the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” finally fading away into our past, we run the risk of butting heads with people who are also vocal about their anti-gay sentiments, especially while doing business. What are your thoughts regarding the matter? Is it better for there to be equal treatment and equal service regardless of differing views, or is it better for the truth about differing opinions to be known so we can use them as the basis of our consumer decisions? Tell us what you think in the comments below!