Can I Refuse Service to a Gay or Unmarried Couple?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

‘I want to open a Christian based hotel in southern IL and need to know if I can be sued for not renting a room to a gay couple or an unmarried couple? I know that hotels have the right to refuse service but I want to double check as I was going to buy and open this hotel through my ministry corp. and the hotel will be not for profit but will charge a fee by the night (a lot cheaper than the Days Inn).’

If you are opening your business to the public, you may run into problems if you openly discriminate against people for their marital status or sexual orientation. Affiliation with a religion will not always protect you from litigation should you refuse service ONLY because of their sexual orientation.