Hotel Wouldn’t Rent To Us Because We’re Gay

SOUTH CAROLINA – A gay couple looking to rent a hotel room say they were turned away because of their sexuality.
“She wasn’t discreet about it,” said Jason Pickel, referring to a hotel employee. “She was not apologetic. She just said, ‘We do not rent to gay people.'”
For the past two and a half years, Pickel and Darren Black Bear have been in a committed relationship. During a search for a temporary home, the couple says it went to Affordable Suites of America, a long-term stay hotel located on Gion Street in Sumter.
“We were inquiring about the price, deposits, extra person fee, and she asked who the room was going to be for, and I said for my partner and I,” Pickel said. “She said, ‘Oh we don’t rent to multiple people of the same sex.’ I said, so you don’t rent to gay couples? She said, ‘No, we don’t rent to gay people at all.'”
The website for Affordable Suites of America states the company does not allow children or pets in its suites, but there is no mention of same sex couples.
News19 contacted the hotel, posing as a potential renter, and inquired about two men staying in the same room. The receptionist who answered the phone told us the following: “Our policy is we don’t rent to two people of the same sex if we only have one bed.” “Is that your policy,” we asked. “That’s corporate policy because they only have one sleeping area.” We then asked, “Okay, but they can’t share the bed?” “I suppose they could, but most men don’t want to,” she said.
However, when News19 called the owner of the hotel, Carroll Atkisson, he says there had been some confusion. He says any couple can come to the place and they will rent to them, period. Atkisson says the policy was not mean to target homosexuals. He says they were just trying to stop two single people from being in the same bed.
Pickel and Black Bear say they still plan to seek legal action. “Everyone is floored, shocked and outraged,” said Pickel. “We have contacted some of our friends who are activists.”
Currently, there is no state law preventing a hotel from refusing service to a same-sex couple. However, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status.
“If they have a policy, it has to be maintained fair and equitably,” says Tom Sponseller, President of the Hospitality Association of South Carolina. “At the beach, for example, because there are different bike weekends at the beach, that policy has to be enforced, and consistent.”
There is currently a bill in the State Senate that addresses this issue. The measure, proposed by Charleston Democrat Robert Ford, would expand the Lodging Establishment Act to include prohibition of discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
from WLXT

thanks to Holly Bullies And Headless Monsters

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