Lesbian discrimination or religious persecution?

Interesting story here that might be used in discussion classes. Seems a religious B&B owner was uncomfortable letting a lesbian couple sleep in her establishment and told them she didn’t want them as customers.

The debate is fairly evenly mixed in the US:

The lesbian couple has a right not to be discriminated against but the B&B owner has the right to practice her religion. And it’s not like the B&B is a big hotel chain – we’re talking about someone’s house. But then again, the law says if you run a B&B or a hotel you can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Should the religious B&B owner be forced to shut down? Should she be forced to accommodate gays and lesbians even though she thinks it’s immoral? Should she be forced to pay damages to the lesbian couple (they want money for the humiliation they say they felt)?

Or is this religious persecution? Does the government really have the right to tell this woman that she must allow gays and lesbians into her B&B?

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