THE Christian owners of a seaside B&B are being sued in a landmark case, for refusing to let a gay couple share a double bed.
Devout Peter and Hazelmary Bull told civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy it would be “an affront to their faith” if the men slept together.
They offered them separate single rooms instead but the couple left and reported them to police.
The Bulls operate a strict policy which only allows married heterosexual couples to share rooms at their guesthouse in Cornwall.
The gay couple claim the snub was a “direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation”.
They are now using 2007 Equality Act Regulations to claim up to £5,000 in damages in a landmark case that begins at Bristol County Court on Monday.
The hearing could determine what restrictions other B&B and hotel owners are allowed to impose on guests.
Martyn and Steven’s legal fees are being paid by the Government-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Mr and Mrs Bull’s defence is being financed by the Christian Institute, a charity that protects the religious liberty of Christians.
Spokesman Mike Judge said the case could have “far-reaching ramifications for religious liberty”.
He said, “This case is about liberty of conscience. This guesthouse is Mr and Mrs Bull’s own home.
“They have rights too, and they should not be forced to act against their sincerely held religious beliefs under their own roof.
“This Christian couple are being put on trial for their beliefs. Equality laws are being used as a sword rather than a shield.”
Mr Bull, 70, and his 66-year-old wife have operated their “married only” policy since they bought the Chymorvah hotel in Marazion near Penzance, Cornwall, in 1986.
Their website says, “We have few rules but please note that out of a deep regard for marriage we prefer to let double accommodation to heterosexual married couples only.”
Mrs Bull, a great-grandmother, said the policy means even her brother and his female partner have to stay in separate rooms when they visit the hotel.
A spokesman for gay rights charity Stonewall said, “We look forward to the hotel changing its policy to reflect equality, the 21st century and the law.”
But the world is very strange today. There shouldn’t be a Gay Community…there should be a community where people live together in harmony…but unfortunately that just isn’t the way of the world.
On the other hand, the Christians, however blinded they might be, should be allowed to accept anyone they want…after all, it is their business and they should be allowed to implement any rules that suit themselves. And besides, if you are gay, why would you want to stay in their B&B, why would you want to give any money to them, and feel uncomfortable?
They didn’t have to be sued. It makes folk who don’t like gay people move one step back to coming anywhere near accepting such a thing.
People are their own persons, with their own views. The new Liberal way must accept this, as we are constantly being told by Liberals to accept them.
It seems that the ‘yoghurt-knitting’ Liberals seem to be the least liberal of people.
By Milo Johnson