Back in 2006, Illinois became one of the few states to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its list of protected classes in public accommodations, but it appears one local businesses didn’t get the memo.
Instead, when Todd and Mark Wathen asked TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast in Paxton, Il, the business’s owner, Jim Walder, denied their request and sent them an email saying “homosexuality is immoral and unnatural.”
Now the state’s Human Rights Commission has ordered Walder to pay $30,000 to the couple, cover their legal costs of $50,000 and another $1,200 in additional costs.
“We are very happy that no other couple will have to experience what we experienced by being turned away and belittled and criticized for who we are,” Todd Wathen said in a statement sent to GayStar News following the commission’s decision.
There is no similar protection for LGBTQ wedding seekers here in Virginia, making it with in any small businesses complete legal right to deny such a service to a same-sex couple.
Attempts by Del. Todd Gilbert, a leading GOP member of the Virginia House, to go a step further and legalize denying services to same-sex couples was thwarted this year, but similar bill, SB41, which could legalize similar actions, was vetoed by Gov. McAuliffe this morning.