Cervelli v. Aloha Bed & Breakfast
Diane and Taeko worked hard to save money for a trip to visit a close friend and her newborn baby in Hawai'i. When they contacted a commercial business establishment, Aloha Bed & Breakfast, to arrange accommodations, the owner refused to rent them a room, citing her personal discomfort with lesbian and gay couples. The owner claims that Hawai'i's law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations does not and cannot constrain the actions of her business. Lambda Legal brought this lawsuit to protect and enforce Hawai'i's interest in eradicating discrimination and to uphold the right of all people to access public accommodations free from unfair discrimination. Given the damage to Hawai'i's antidiscrimination law that would follow if businesses could disregard the law based on business owners' personal beliefs, the Hawai'i Civil Rights Commission has also intervened in the lawsuit as a plaintiff.
- December 19, 2011 Lambda Legal files complaint in the First Circuit Court of Hawai'i and the Hawai'i Civil Rights Commission (HCRC) moves to intervene as a plaintiff.
- January 10, 2012 The defendant files a motion to dismiss the case.
- January 31, 2012 The Court allows the HCRC to intervene as a plaintiff. Both the plaintiffs and the HCRC file oppositions to defendant's motion to dismiss.
- February 8, 2012 The Court holds a hearing on defendant's motion to dismiss and denies the motion, allowing the plaintiffs' case to proceed.
- April 15, 2013 Victory! The Court grants Lambda Legal's and the Hawai'i Civil Rights Commission's motion for partial summary judgment, finding that Aloha Bed & Breakfast violated Hawai'i's public accommodations law and ordering that it stop discriminating against same-sex couples.