Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What does "people-friendly" mean?

Back in 2010, I commented on the meaning of the term "gay-friendly" in the hospitality industry. Although the majority of folks will never encounter it in their own lives and therefore not give it much thought, discrimination against the GLBT community is still with us!

I recounted the news story of a B.C. bed and breakfast that refused to accommodate a gay couple and were taken to the BC Human Rights Tribunal on grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms(a crucial part of Canada's Constititution). It promised to be an interesting case as the B & B owners defended their action on the basis of their Christian beliefs.

At last, the decision came down today and as reported on CBC and Huffington Post, the B & B owners were found to have illegally discriminated against the gay couple. They were fined $4400 for the "indignity and humiliation" suffered by their prospective customers. In the judgement, it is clear that even though the B & B owners were free to hold certain religious-based beliefs in their own home, the fact that they opened their home as a public business required them to comply with laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. I have read elsewhere that they decided to close their business soon after the discrimination suit was filed.

I say hooray! Yes, this case was a sad, drawn-out legal mess that neither party probably wanted in their lives. However, if hospitality businesses want to live up to the very definition of "hospitality", they cannot discriminate against anyone just for who they are!

We have always described Nelson House B & B as "people-friendly". We think it meets the dictionary definition and underlines the kind of religious beliefs that we share: practice "kindness in welcoming strangers or guests".


  1. Great insight, I posted it on our facebook. Please come visit us anytime, and

  2. A nice article and beautiful photos.......great blog

  3. As a B&B owner in Dallas I agree with you. Just like it wouldn't be OK to discriminate by race, why should this be any different. If you are interested check out our blog for B&B owners at If you ever consider allowing guests to write blog posts please let me know.


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