STRATFORD, PEI, May 23, 2001 (LSN.ca) – A Christian couple from Prince Edward Island who run a bed-and-breakfast out of their family home has been forced to close down their operation and pay a fee to two male homosexuals for refusing to comply with a Human Rights Commission (HRC) order. The Charlottetown Guardian reports that Dagmar and Arnost Cepica, owners of Beach View Bed and Breakfast, must shut down their two-room bed and breakfast and pay $1,000 in damages or else submit to a pro-homosexuality seminar by the Human Rights Commission and allow practicing homosexuals to take rooms in their home.
Last August, Jean Bedard and Simon Corneau, two homosexual men from Montreal filed a complaint with the Prince Edward Island HRC claiming discrimination against their sexual orientation. At the time the Cepicas explained to reporters, “That’s the custom that we are used to, and the bed is shared by people, by married people of opposite sex.”
The Guardian reported that the settlement came before a final ruling from the HRC. The settlement says in part that the Christian couple “agreed to cease operating a bed and breakfast or any other tourist accommodation and pay the complainants a sum of general damages. Furthermore, if the respondent commenced to operate a tourist facility in the future, they would provide to the commission assurance of compliance with the Human Rights Act.”
Greg Howard, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, expressed satisfaction with the settlement. “It was an interesting case because it was a real clash of cultures,” said Howard. “The people who operated the bed and breakfast had very strong opinions about the matters that were covered in the complaint but misguided. They honestly didn’t believe that they were in non-compliance with the human rights legislation in the province by enforcing the policy that they did.”
(The Guardian May 23, 2001)
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