SC couple turned away from hotel: 'We do not rent to gay people'
“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.'”
— Jason Pickel, describing his interaction with a room agent at a Sumter, SC Affordable Suites of America
“She wasn’t discreet about it,” said Jason Pickel, referring to a hotel employee. “She was not apologetic. She just said, ‘We do not rent to gay people.'”
For the past two and a half years, Pickel and Darren Black Bear have been in a committed relationship. During a search for a temporary home, the couple says it went to Affordable Suites of America, a long-term stay hotel located on Gion Street in Sumter.
…News19 contacted the hotel, posing as a potential renter, and inquired about two men staying in the same room. The receptionist who answered the phone told us the following: “Our policy is we don’t rent to two people of the same sex if we only have one bed.” “Is that your policy,” we asked. “That’s corporate policy because they only have one sleeping area.” We then asked, “Okay, but they can’t share the bed?” “I suppose they could, but most men don’t want to,” she said.
When the station called the owner of the hotel to get some clarity on the matter, Carroll Atkisson said that it wasn’t about discriminating against homos, there was a big confusion — it was simply about “trying to stop two single people from being in the same bed.”
Oh, I see, so a single man and woman aren’t allowed to sleep in one of their king beds at Affordable Suites either? How do they know that they are single? Are they afraid of fornication? Needless to say, Pickel and Black Bear are considering legal action.
Unfortunately this is SC we’re talking about, the chosen home of the Christian Exodus movement (it plans to secede from the U.S. and form a Christian nation). There’s not a law that prevents discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The article notes that there is a measure in the state senate that would address this (and gender identity), but I bet it will have a difficult time passing.