Such places may not, on account of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or other protected characteristic, “refuse, withhold from or deny to that person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of the place of public accommodation” (9 V.S.A. § 4502 (a)).
The protections based on marital status mean that a place of public accommodation may not discriminate against same-sex couples who are married or in a civil union (15 V.S.A. § 1204 (e)(7) (prohibitions against discrimination based on marital status apply equally to parties to a civil union). See also discussion of civil unions below).
There is an exception to this rule, stating that this law does not prohibit an establishment that provides lodging to transient guests (i.e. hotels, inns) with five or fewer rooms from restricting its accommodations based on sex or marital status (9 V.S.A. § 4502 (d)).
Public, independent, and post-secondary schools in Vermont are considered public accommodations and so students are protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. See the section on Students’ Rights for further information about the rights and protections for school students.