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Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica is Facing Civil Rights Lawsuit for Discrimination

Under the California Civil Rights Laws, Unruh Civil Rights Act, it is illegal for any business establishment to deny equal and free access to a person based on his or her sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation. Shangri-La hotel in Santa Monica is facing discrimination lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit arises from an incident in July of 2010, when young supporters of a nonprofit organization, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, organized a pool party at the hotel. Plaintiffs allege that in the middle of the party, the owner of the hotel, who is a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent, abruptly shut it down, claiming that it was unauthorized. Plaintiffs are seeking more than $1 million in damages. Needless to say, while the hotel is fiercely denying the allegations, a jury verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs can be devastating to the reputation of the hotel. The story is being reported by the news media, including the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times.