Anglican Samizdat

March 21, 2009

Gay couple sue Christian hotel owners

Filed under: Christianity,homosexuality — David Jenkins @ 10:22 pm
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Gay couple sue Christians for barring them from hotel bed

The Christian owners of a seaside hotel may be prosecuted after refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in a double room.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull are facing an unprecedented court case under controversial new equality laws.

Martyn Hall, who lives with his civil partner Steven Preddy, has lodged a county court claim for up to £5,000 in damages alleging ‘direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation’.

Last August, the Bulls received a letter from Stonewall, the gay rights organisation, saying it had received a complaint and warning the hotel it was breaking the law.

The following month Mr Preddy, from Bristol, rang to book a double room for two nights.

Mrs Bull, who took the call, said last night that she had wrongly assumed that he would be staying with his wife before she accepted the booking.

When Mr Preddy and Mr Hall arrived, they were told by the manager, Bernie Quinn, that the hotel could not honour the booking.

The couple told him he was acting illegally before leaving and reporting the incident to police

The Chymorvah Hotel lists its rules:

Here at Chymorvah we have few rules, but please note that as Christians we have a deep regard for marriage (being the union of one man to one woman for life to the exclusion of all others).

Therefore, although we extend to all a warm welcome to our home, our double bedded accommodation is not available to unmarried couples – Thank you.

It’s obvious Messrs Hall and Preddy knew about the hotel rules before making the booking. In which case, they were not really looking for a seaside holiday at all, but were out to make a point by deliberately searching for accommodation where they knew they could challenge Christian principle with vacuous 21st Century secular equality. It is significant that no unmarried heterosexual couple has felt the need to sue the hotel –  probably because there are plenty of other hotels in the area. Not to mention the fact that heterosexual unmarried couples do not feel the need to engage in a crusade to establish the normality of their behaviour.

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8 Comments

  1. This is news? This just childlessness and if the Brits are not used to it they need to see how Canada copes. Rather doesn’t cope. Human Rights Commissions have become a boondoggle for anyone who doesn’t go along with the new order here.

    Comment by gawk — March 22, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

  2. “It is significant that no unmarried heterosexual couple has felt the need to sue the hotel” — well, mere unmarrieds have no special anti-discrimination legislation to sue with. Gays have the recent “Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007”.

    Comment by Matt — March 22, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

  3. Why is it ‘obvious’ that they knew about the hotel rules? They didn’t. I know the two people who are suing here and they told me about their experience with the hotel immediately after. They just phoned a hotel they liked the look of, and their booking was accepted without any mention of a no gays rule. Simple as. But of course, people will believe what suits them, not what happened.

    Comment by onlooker — March 23, 2009 @ 4:53 am

  4. Whether the “couple” knew the hotel’s policy is a red herring.
    Only in a tiny portion of the world do liberal jurisdictions recognize a marriage as anything but between a man and a woman. If the hotel is treating unmarried heterosexual couples the same as unmarried gay couples, there is no discrimination. However an argument might be made by the “couple”, if they had married in a liberal jurisdiction. Then the question would be whether the hotel owners religious belief’s can be trampled by legislation.
    It seems to me that there is a world-wide push to have Gay Rights trump all others.
    Peace,
    Jim

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — March 23, 2009 @ 9:09 am

  5. If a non Christian heterosexual couple who had undergone the legal equivalent of a civil partnership (ie a register office wedding)had booked the room they would be accepted. But a male couple were not. That’s discrimination. No one is asking for gay people’s rights to ‘trump all others’. After two millennia of being killed, injured, persecuted, humiliated, ignored and marginalised, the SAME rights as everyone else is just fine, thanks.

    Comment by onlooker — March 23, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

  6. Onlooker [#5],
    If a non Christian heterosexual couple who had undergone the legal equivalent of a civil partnership (ie a register office wedding)had booked the room they would be accepted

    True. That is clearly stated in the hotel’s policy.

    But a male couple were not. That’s discrimination.

    So is not allowing smoking, not allowing pets, not allowing children in adult only buildings, not allowing drug use on the property, not allowing alcohol in the room. Your point, I presume is that this particular prohibition is unfair or illegal; the latter will be settled by the courts, the former is a matter of opinion.

    After two millennia of being killed, injured, persecuted, humiliated, ignored and marginalised, the SAME rights as everyone else is just fine, thanks

    You could use the same argument for Christians; they have suffered – and continue to – the same persecutions, if not worse. Why should a Christian hotelier be deprived the right not to accept a couple in his hotel whose activity he considers wrong? Particularly when there are many other hotels which would be happy to accommodate the couple.

    Comment by David — March 23, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

  7. We now live in a country where the majority of people recognise that being gay is OK. So the right to live a decent life and expect the same treatment as people of other sexualities has begun to be protected in law.

    You can keep wriggling but the law is the law. Christians have the same legal protections and right to worship as any other group. But you don’t have the right to extend your beliefs into the public sphere by refusing a service to people who don’t share your beliefs. And the fact that most decent hotels don’t discriminate doesn’t make it ok for this hotel owner to do so.

    I’m not going to waste any more time after this replying to comments. I realised thirty years ago that a Christian is never going to say ‘OK maybe you have a point there’.

    Comment by onlooker — March 24, 2009 @ 4:16 am

  8. onlooker,

    So it’s perfectly alright for Christians to worship, but they aren’t allowed to practice their faith in the world?

    Peace,
    Jim

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — March 24, 2009 @ 6:15 am


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