A gay couple together for two and a half years says that Affordable Suites of America, a long-term stay hotel located in Sumter, South Carolina, turned them away because they are gay. Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear say they inquired about renting a room at the hotel while they search for a home.
Said Pickel: “We were inquiring about the price, deposits, extra person fee, and she asked who the room was going to be for, and I said for my partner and I. She said, ‘Oh we don’t rent to multiple people of the same sex.’ I said, so you don’t rent to gay couples? She said, ‘No, we don’t rent to gay people at all.'”
News19 of Columbia called the hotel to follow up. They were told by the hotel receptionist: “Our policy is we don’t rent to two people of the same sex if we only have one bed.” Carol Atkisson, the hotel’s owner, says there was a misunderstanding: “He says any couple can come to the place and they will rent to them, period. Atkisson says the policy was not mean to target homosexuals. He says they were just trying to stop two single people from being in the same bed.”
According to News19, “Currently, there is no state law preventing a hotel from refusing service to a same-sex couple. However, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status.”
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