STATE OF VERMONT
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
135 STATE STREET, DRAWER 33
MONTPELIER, VT 05633-6301
TEL: (800) 416-2010 or (802) 829-2480 (Voice/TDD)
FAX: (802) 828-2481
E-Mail: human.rights@hrc.state.vt.us


VERMONT'S CIVIL UNION AND PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS LAWS

Vermont's Fair Housing & Public Accommodations Act (“FHPA”), 9 V.S.A. § 4500 et seq., prohibits owners, operators, employees, and agents of public accommodations from denying any person any of the “accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges” of a place of public accommodation because of the person’s:

See 9 V.S.A. § 4502(a).

FHPA defines “place of public accommodation” as “any school, restaurant, store, establishment or other facility at which services, facilities, goods, privileges, advantages, benefits or accommodations are offered to the general public.” 9 V.S.A. § 4501 (1). The following types of entities are public accommodations:

The provision of Section 4502 prohibiting discrimination based upon sexual orientation was added to FHPA in 1992. It covers the refusal of a public accommodation to provide services to parties to a civil union because of the parties' sexual orientation.

The Human Rights Commission is charged by statute with enforcing FHPA by conducting investigations and filing lawsuits, among other means. The Commission will commence an investigation if it receives a complaint about the following types of activities:

In addition, parties to civil unions who have been refused services by public accommodations because of their sexual orientation may file lawsuits under FHPA seeking injunctive relief, damages, attorney's fees and costs.

For more information, contact the Human Rights Commission at:

800-416-2010 or 802-828-2482 (Voice/TTY)

or

human.rights@hrc.state.vt.us


1 FHPA allows owners and operators of inns, motels, or other establishments which provide lodging to transient guests and which have five or fewer rooms for rent or hire to restrict “such accommodations” on the basis of sex or marital status (but not on the basis of sexual orientation). 9 V.S.A. § 4502(d).