A Galveston B&B has been removed from the Airbnb vacation rental site after the owner allegedly threw out a gay couple who had paid for a two-night stay.
“We have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination on Airbnb. The host in question has been removed from the site. Airbnb has clear guidelines that a host or a guest may not promote hate or bigotry,” Airbnb officials said in a statement to ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston.
Jonathan Wang, a commercial airline pilot, and his partner, Brent, had booked a room at the bed-and-breakfast — which was not named in news reports and whose owner was identified only as Heather — for two nights while they were in Galveston for a friend’s wedding.
Wang said he and his partner unpacked at the B&B and then went to the wedding reception. When they returned to their lodgings later that night, Heather stopped him and asked where his wife was. When he told her he had not said he had a wife and asked if it were okay that he instead had a male partner, Heather said no and told them to leave immediately.
Because it was late and a weekendnight, accommodations on the island were already full, Wang said, adding that he had to call in a favor from his job as a pilot to find some place he and Brent could stay the night. He said later when he looked more closely at the Airbnb listing for Heather’s establishment, he noticed small type declaring it to be “straight friendly.”
During a phone call with ABC 13 in Houston, Heather said that in forcing the two men to leave, “I’m completely of my legal realms and morals.” When the reporter asked her is she rented to same-sex couples, Heather answered, “That’s none of your business. That’s my private home.”
Airbnb is an online service through which homeowners around the world can list their accommodations to rent out to travelers. Some rent a room in their home, while others rent out entire homes, apartments, condos, etc.