[I copy and pasted this post from my favorite gay blogger Andy Towle]
This clearly shouldn't have happened to gay or straight people. This is the reason why we gay people are relentless in our effort to find a cure for homophobia.
SC Couple Says Hotel Turned Them Away for Being Gay!
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."
Barack Obama on Homosexual Morality and Gay Marriage
Barack Obama talked to Wolf Blitzer on yesterday's The Situation Room and clarified his actions and statements following Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace's remarks that homosexuality is "immoral". Obama and Hillary Clinton were criticized shortly after Pace's remarks for refusing to say whether or not they agreed with him.
Said Obama: "I'm not sure that the story got out there properly. I mean, what happened was I was leaving a firefighters' union meeting and trying to get in my car and did not respond to a reporter's query at that point. I wasn't responding to reporters period because I was trying to make a vote. Subsequently I made it very clear. I don't think that gays and lesbians are any more moral or immoral than heterosexuals and that I think it is very important for us to reexamine the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy because it's costing us millions of dollars in replacing troops that by all accounts are actually doing a good job but are simply being kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation."
He also reiterated his feelings about gay marriage and civil unions:
"Well, I think that 'marriage' has a religious connotation in this society, in our culture, that makes it very difficult to disentangle from the civil aspects of marriage. And as a consequence it's almost -- it would be extraordinarily difficult and distracting to try to build a consensus around marriage for gays and lesbians. What we can do is form civil unions that provide all the civil rights that marriage entails to same sex couples. And that is something that I have consistently been in favor of. And I think that the vast majority of Americans don't want to see gay and lesbian couples discriminated against, when it comes to hospital visitations and so on."
Gay Detroit Senior Andrew Anthos Was Not Attacked
Detroit Police said on Wednesday that gay senior Andrew Anthos, who was reportedly attacked in front of his apartment with a pipe of February 13 after his assailant had taunted him over his sexuality, died of natural causes and was never attacked.
This has been the account: "According to family members, Anthos said he was riding a city bus home from the library on Feb. 13 when a young man asked him if he was gay and uttered a slur. Anthos said the man followed him off the bus and confronted him again. Anthos said he told the man he was gay as he went to help a friend whose wheelchair was stuck in a snowbank, according to his cousin, Athena Fedenis."
In the days following the incident, Anthos, 72, clung to life in a Detroit hospital before slipping into a coma and dying.
According to the AP, "the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Anthos fell because he had an arthritic neck, and detectives were unable to find witnesses to a beating, police said...Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Schmidt said evidence did not support the report of an attack on Anthos and said a head injury likely came from falling. Anthos probably flexed his neck, which caused arthritic spurs to compress his spinal cord enough to paralyze his legs, Schmidt said."
Said police spokesman James Tate to the Detroit News: "There's no evidence that an assault occurred. They determined that he died of natural causes."
Homicide unit supervisor Lt. Linda Vertin said the case would be closed due to lack of evidence of an assault. The report of the attack on Anthos sparked a renewed outcry in Michigan and across the country from gay advocacy groups for hate crime legislation.
The AP notes, "It was unclear what police made of the friend's account." It's also unclear where police came up with a sketch of Anthos' attacker which was released on March 1st.
Athena Fedenis, Anthos' cousin, whom police did not talk to before going public with their findings, expressed shock that the case was closed: "I'm just livid about this. Andrew didn't have any reason to make this up. I won't let this rest. I can't let this tarnish him. I don't want anyone to think it wasn't a hate crime."
Police, coroner: Detroit gay man died naturally, not from beating [Detroit News]
Police Say Gay Man Not Fatally Beaten [NYT]