CHRISTIAN bed-and-breakfast owners may have to start rethinking their “gays not welcome” policies following an important court ruling on discrimination.
According to this BBC report, a judge has awarded damages to a gay couple who were turned away from the Chymorvah Hotel, near Penzance by a miserable pair of Jesus junkies who own the Chymorvah Hotel, near Penzance.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull said as Christians they did not believe unmarried couples should share a room.
Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy, from Bristol, said the incident in September 2008 was “direct discrimination” against them, and they were awarded Â£1,800 each in damages at Bristol County Court.
The couple said in a statement:
When we booked the hotel we just wanted a relaxing weekend away, something that thousands of other couples do every weekend. Because we wanted to bring our new dog we checked he would be welcome. It didn’t even cross our minds that in 2008 in Britain we needed to ask if we would be.
Speaking outside court Mrs Bull said she and her husband would discuss an appeal with their lawyers.
The Bulls said their policy had been in force for the past 24 years
We are obviously disappointed with the result. Our double-bed policy was based on our sincere beliefs about marriage, not hostility to anybody.
In his ruling, Judge Rutherford said that, in the past 50 years, social attitudes in Britain had changed and it was inevitable that some laws would “cut across” some people’s beliefs.
I am quite satisfied as to the genuineness of the defendants’ beliefs and it is, I have no doubt, one which others also hold.
It is a very clear example of how social attitudes have changed over the years for it is not so very long ago that these beliefs of the defendants would have been those accepted as normal by society at large. Now it is the other way around.
Gay equality charity Stonewall said it was delighted at the outcome. Its Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said:
You can’t turn away people from a hotel because they’re black or Jewish and in 2011 you shouldn’t be able to demean them by turning them away because they’re gay either. Religious freedom shouldn’t be used as a cloak for prejudice.
Brace yourselves for howls of “persecution!” from bigots everywhere.
Hat tip: Marcus