Whether it is fighting for or against same-sex marriages or protesting against hate crimes targeted toward homosexuals, the topic of sexual orientation is a constant in present day media. Last week, however, three heterosexuals were discriminated against for their sexual orientation in a Key West hotel. In doing so, the hotel not only violated state law but showed that while the subjects of tolerance and equality are on the fore-front of most people’s minds, discrimination still occurs. With situations as the one in the Keys, it to be hoped that the heterosexual community can place themselves in the homosexual community’s shoes to start building a bridge toward acceptance.
A group of eight tourists from San Diego were vacationing at Big Ruby’s Hotel when six of them, three heterosexual couples, were told they weren’t welcome there. Jim Pirih, a homosexual who was there with his partner and the three couples, told the Associated Press that the manager of Big Ruby’s literally said, “We don’t want you here.”
Pirih also told AP that the manager cited a policy of not allowing heterosexuals at the hotel, and while they were allowed to stay for the night, they would have to find somewhere else for the remainder of their vacation and would not be compensated.
“He said he had to appeal to the majority, and the majority of guests wouldn’t want straight people there,” Pirih said.
Key West, popular for its celebration of homosexuality, has a city ordinance against sexual orientated discrimination in housing and lodging. Civil citations and fines upward of $500 are among penalties for violators, according to AP.
While it is rare to hear of the occurrence of sexual orientation discrimination of straight people, Big Ruby’s should be held accountable. More importantly, the case should make clear that discrimination is simply not acceptable — for whatever reason.