A retired Canadian couple who refused to give a homosexual couple a room at their bed & breakfast has been found guilty of discrimination based on sexual orientation and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
Lee and Susan Molnar argued that they had a constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion – and that the cancellation of the gay couple’s reservation was justified.
The Molnars said the Riverbend Bed & Breakfast, which has since closed, was also their home – where they hosted Bible studies.
However, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled in favor of Shaun Eadie and Brian Thomas. They said the bed and breakfast was separate from their personal living space and was operated like a hotel.
“Having entered into the commercial sphere, the Molnars, like other business people, were required to comply with the laws of the province – that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation,” tribunal member Enid Marion told The Vancouver Sun.
Thomas told The Edge that he was delighted in the ruling.
“Sometimes you have to stick your neck out, and we stuck our necks out and we feel good and vindicated that we did for the benefit of the people coming behind us,” he told the publication.
The Molnars will be required to pay more than $4,500 in fines.
“We, in clear conscience, did what we did,” Molnar told One News Now. “From the beginning, we had no ill will towards anybody. And now that the case is finished, we respect the decision of the tribunal ad we still have no ill will against anybody.”
The Molnars paid a hefty price for deciding to remain faithful to their Christian faith. They said they were victims of harassment and worried about future complaints. As a result, they closed the bed & breakfast just a few months after the gay couple had tried to rent a room.
“It hasn’t been easy but we’re still thanking the Lord for the blessings,” he said.
“We believe that our Lord set certain absolute standards and that’s what we attempt to do,” he told One News Now. “We’re not perfect, like anybody else, but we do attempt to live by the Bible and what the Bible says.”
The website Queerty.com hailed the ruling.
“Did they really think they could run a bed and breakfast and turn away queer couples,” the website pondered. “We’re like the backbone of the B&B industry.”