Bed and Breakfast ordered to pay $81,000 to same sex couple

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FORD COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A bed and breakfast in Paxton will have to pay thousands to a couple that wasn’t allowed to hold their civil union ceremony there.

TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast has to pay more than $81,000 to Todd and Mark Wathen. The two wanted to hos a civil union there in 2011, but the owner, Walder Vacuflo, wouldn’t allow it, telling the couple the bed and breakfast would never do same sex ceremonies. The Wathens contacted the ACLU and filed a lawsuit that year.

Four years later, they won that lawsuit. The Illinois Human Rights Commission in 2015 ordered Vacuflo to pay the couple more than $80,000 and cease and desist from discrimination. He tried to appeal in 2017.

The Illinois Attorney General stepped in in 2018 and filed its own suit against TimberCreek, claiming Vacuflo didn’t follow the issued orders.

The ACLU called the recent ruling a victory, saying “This upholds the Human Rights Act Process. When the commission comes down with an order and damages, it has to be paid and not ignored.”

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