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An Arizona woman has initiated a class-action suit alleging discrimination based on her sexual orientation by Avis Rent A Car.

Lynn Evenchik claims that Avis’ practice of offering discounts to members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce constitutes a violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits businesses from offering discounts to customers based on sexual orientation.

Evenchik paid $311.36 to rent a car from Avis at San Diego International Airport for a period of one week in July of 2011. She later learned that members of the aforementioned groups received discount codes entitling them to 20 to 25 percent off standard rental rates due to marketing agreements Avis had entered into with the organizations.

“These unfair and unlawful business practices result in many consumers who are not affiliated with those organizations paying substantially higher rental rates than those made available to gay and lesbian renters,” the complaint states.

Evenchik is seeking damages and restitution on behalf of anyone who rented a car from Avis since the company began offering the discounts, which is believed to have begun around September 2010.

She also seeks an injunction to stop Avis from continuing to offer reduced rates to members of the gay and lesbian organizations.

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Comments

HellcatCopley Jan. 12, 2012 @ 10:53 a.m.

Can she prove that every member of International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is gay? Or that she was excluded from joining those groups if she wanted?

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dragonfirestorm2002 Jan. 12, 2012 @ 1:29 p.m.

This woman's case should be thrown out. Avis is offering a discount to members of these two groups much like Hertz and various hotels offer discounts to AAA members. Avis does not have a flat discount for customers just because they are gay which is the claim she is making. Maybe she should join IGLTA or NGLCC if she absolutely must take advantage of the Avis discount rate.

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IDIOTDETECTOR Jan. 12, 2012 @ 6:59 p.m.

I also just noticed she was from Arizona. Says it all. Have you seen their Governor?

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alricsca Jan. 12, 2012 @ 2:03 p.m.

I am not sure she would have a case even if the membership of these two groups was limited to gay people, because Avis does not limit the type of groups that can contract with them for such a discount based on their membership in a protected class. A group of Scouts, Democrats, Baptists, or even Furies could do the same. If any group of people can negotiate for this type of discount and no group has a rate that was modified because of their membership in a protected class, then I do not see an issue here.

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IDIOTDETECTOR Jan. 12, 2012 @ 6:57 p.m.

I really want to know who her attorney is who filed this. I would immediately write the California Bar Assoc. What a waste of court time. She should pay all of Avis court costs. If this idiot gets ONE DIME I will then know the justice system is truly gone. Also right wing blogs have latched onto this as "gays get special rights" stories.

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IDIOTDETECTOR Jan. 12, 2012 @ 6:54 p.m.

I am sure this women will say: I do not hate gay people, i don't hate anybody" But for some reason a company who has been offering discounts to many hundreds of groups and business affiliates, like Best Buy, if you have a rewards card you get 25%. She is angry she is too stupid to go on this thing called the INTERNET and type in AVIS DISCOUNT COUPONS which I just did and found valid coupons free for up to 30% discount. She fails on 2 points. If she knew about this discount she could have joined the Gay organization, they do not require that you be gay just gay friendly which in a wild guess she is not, she would have received this discount, so it is not a discriminatory policy she just is suing because she wasn't told about it. In 2 minutes on Avis sight they offer a discount through the AMERICAN SCOOTER ASSOC. for handicap people. Did she file a lawsuit against them because she was not handicap? That is also a protected class in this Unruh law. I am not a lawyer (although I was married to one for 15 years) but I would LOVE to argue this case to the jury. I would blow her out of the water in 30 min of testimony. ANYONE who watched LA LAW, or Boston Legal could do that.

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russwhite Jan. 13, 2012 @ 6:55 a.m.

A quick Google of this woman's name and and you'll see that she is a travel agent, and therefore, eligible for membership in IGLTA.

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=96181578

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