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Letter re Stockton Asparagus Festival's Violation of the Unruh Act

Letter re Stockton Asparagus Festival's Violation of the Unruh Act

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The legal center sent a letter to the Stockton Asparagus Festival on behalf of the San Joaquin Valley Coalition of Reason objecting to its illegal refusal to allow the SJVCoR to lease booth space at the festival.
The legal center sent a letter to the Stockton Asparagus Festival on behalf of the San Joaquin Valley Coalition of Reason objecting to its illegal refusal to allow the SJVCoR to lease booth space at the festival.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Appignani Humanist Legal Center on Feb 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/21/2012

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1
 
January 20, 2012Kate PostExecutive DirectorStockton Asparagus Festival343 E. Main Street10
th
Floor, Suite BStockton, CA 95202kate@asparagusfest.com
Re:
Stockton Asparagus Festival’s Refusal to Rent a Vendor’s Booth
to the SanJoaquin Valley Coalition of Reason in Violation of the Unruh Act
Ms. Post:
I am writing regarding the decision of the Stockton Asparagus Festival (the “Festival”) to
refuse to allow the San Joaquin Valley Coalition of Reason
(the “Coalition”) to rent a vendor’s
booth at the Festival.As you know, on February 25, 2011, David Diskin, a member of the Coalition, emailedyou, as the Festival
’s
executive director,
to apply for a vendor’s booth
at the 2011 Festival. Diskinwas put in touch with Suzi DeSilva, the booth coordinator, whom he asked about non-profit ratefor vendors. After not receiving a response, Diskin followed-up with DeSilva and was told that he
should apply right away because “space [was] nearly gone.” Diskin faxed the Coalition’s
application to DeSilva later that day, but was told that
the Coalition’s application
had been deniedbecause the Festival no longer had space for non-profits. Despite offering to pay the commercialrate, Kate Post told Diskin that the C
oalition was “too controversial”
and that the Festival wouldnot deal with the Coalition, adding
“I’ve seen your website. You hate
G
od.”
 Diskin again contacted the Festival in October 2011 and January 2012 in hopes of renting abooth at the 2012 Festival, but the Festival still refused to do business with the Coalition, statingthat
“our position has not changed.”
 
California’s
Unruh Civil Rights Act
1
 
(the “Act”)
prohibits a business establishment such asthe Festival from discriminating on the basis of religious views. Specifically, Section 51.5 of the
1
California Civil Code Section 51 states that
[a]ll persons [in] . . . this State are free and equal, and no matter whattheir race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages,facilities, privileges, or services in all business establis
hments of every kind whatsoever.”
 

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