A lesbian couple from Staten Island, New York filed a lawsuit this week that claims the staff at a Sleep Inn hotel in Brooklyn, New York denied them service. The women claim they weren't given a room because the staff had an issue with their sexuality,DNAInfo reports.
Loren Parisella, 24, and Elizabeth Prestano filed a lawsuit against the hotel and its parent company, Choice Hotels International, claiming the staff lied when they told them they were fully booked because they did not want to serve a lesbian couple. The women filed their lawsuit on Dec. 17 in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
"It's a shame that in 2015, not only in the United States, but within New York City, that something like this occurred," the couple's lawyer, Paul Liggieri, told DNAInfon. "In today's society we expect there to be accommodations for everyone, not just one particular type of person."
The suit claims Parisella and Prestano entered the Sleep Inn lobby on August 23, 2014 and were not trying to hide the fact they are a couple.
"Upon entering the hotel and stepping into the lobby, the staff of the hotel glared at the plaintiffs with a look of repugnance and disgust," the lawsuit reads, according to DNAInfo.
The lawsuit alleges that when the women reached the front desk, the staff reluctantly asked how they could help them. The couple said when they requested a room for the evening, the Sleep Inn employees became hostile and started whispering with each other. After looking at the computer, Parisella and Prestano were told the hotel was booked up, according to the lawsuit.
But when the women left the hotel, they called from outside to insure about a room. A staffer said they had a room available for the night, the lawsuit reads. The women then went back inside to confront the staff about the lie. The lawsuit says the staff became hostile towards them.
"They were a loving couple. They were just there for a room, and they were refused one," Liggieri said.
Parisella and Prestano filed a complaint with the state Division of Human Rights in April, DNAInfo reports. The lawsuit states the agency said probable cause existed to believe staffers at Sleep Inn did engaged in discriminatory practices.