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Under state law, it is illegal to deny a person access or to treat them unequally, in a public accommodation because of their:

  • race

  • sex

  • color

  • age

  • religion

  • creed

  • disability

  • marital status

  • national origin

  • sexual orientation*

  • gender identity* 

* If a place of public accommodation owned by or operated on behalf of a religious organization is made available for use only to members of the same faith as that of the administering body, the provisions concerning discriminatory practices that relate to sexual orientation and gender identity shall not apply.  

Public accommodations are facilities whose goods/services/premises are sold or made available to the public.  Examples are:

  • restaurants, snack bars, and soda fountains

  • hotels, motels, and inns

  • retail stores and shopping centers

  • bars and nightclubs

  • museums, theaters, concert halls, and stadiums

  • parks and campsites

  • bus stations, taxi stands, and airport terminals

  • barbershops and beauty parlors

  • swimming pools, gyms, and health clubs

  • hospitals, clinics, and convalescent homes

  • professional offices of health care providers

  • mortuaries and undertaking establishments

The law prohibits persons from aiding or inciting others to engage in discriminatory practices.  It also protects persons from retaliation when they oppose a discriminatory practice or attempt to comply.

The law does not apply to the provisions of separate facilities for females and males to protect their personal rights of privacy (such as restrooms, locker rooms, or dressing rooms in a store).

Examples of possible discrimination in public accommodations are:

  • a nightclub or theater won't let you in because it's "full", but you see people of other races allowed in after you were turned away.

  • you are not served at a restaurant because you are a person with a mental or physical disability.

  • you are refused service at a hospital because you are (or are regarded as) HIV-positive.

  • a store or restaurant gives discounts to people of the opposite sex, but you still have to pay full price.


A charge must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination.

Follow this link for information on Filing a charge.

This is a general summary of the Public Accommodation laws and does not have the force or effect of city, state or federal laws.  If there are any inconsistencies, specific rules and laws will control.