BRISTOL, UK, December 13, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Evidence given in a Bristol county court today has indicated that a Christian couple, who own a guesthouse in Cornwall, may be the victims of a “sting” operation by a homosexualist activist group. Peter and Hazelmary Bull are being sued by a pair of homosexual men over their policy not to allow unmarried couples to share a double room in their guesthouse.
Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy, who booked over the phone in September and were refused a room when they revealed they were homosexuals, are claiming that the policy is discriminatory and are asking for £5,000 in damages. The Bulls are arguing that they should be allowed to act upon their sincerely held Christian religious beliefs in their business practices. The guesthouse is also the Bulls’ home.
In court today, Bernie Quinn, a guesthouse employee, implied that the entire affair has been deliberately orchestrated by Preddy and Hall with the backing of the homosexualist lobby group Stonewall.
Quinn testified that Stonewall was aware of the guesthouse policy and had written to the Bulls a month earlier “advising” them to change their policies or face possible legal action under new equality legislation. Quinn said that hours before Preddy had made a telephone booking in September 2008 he (Quinn) had spoken to a “Mrs Preddy” regarding a double room.
The claimants’ barrister, Catherine Casserley, asked Mr Quinn, “Are you suggesting this claim was a set-up?”
Mr. Quinn agreed and said, “It is not beyond the realms of possibility. I have no proof other than the phone call.
“I cannot assume for them what their motivations were or weren’t. I assumed, going back to the phone call, that we were expecting a Mr. and Mrs. Preddy and what arrived was two gentlemen.”
The legal expenses of the two homosexual men are being paid by the taxpayer-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission, a body set up under the Labour government as part of that government’s “equalities” push.
Mrs. Bull explained in court that because of her and her husband’s faith, they do not approve of any type of sex outside of marriage, and do not allow sharing of beds by any unmarried couples of either sex.
Mrs. Bull also confirmed that she had no idea that the guests, whom she knew from the phone call as “Mr. and Mrs. Preddy,” were in fact two men, until they arrived at the guesthouse.
“I said to Mr. Quinn that I had let a double room for tomorrow night and I had forgot to go through the policy with them and immediately Mr. Quinn reassured me that everything was going to be OK because of the previous phone call,” she told the court.
“I would have said immediately there is no way I would have let them make the journey to our door only to be disappointed. We were very surprised when the two gentlemen turned up the next day.”
The couple have been defended in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, by two senior Anglican bishops, the Rt. Rev. Michael Scott-Joynt, the bishop of Winchester, and the retired bishop of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, who expressed their “very great concern” at the legal action.
“Mr. and Mrs. Bull’s understanding of marriage is the same as that of the
English law and of the Christian church,” they said. “Their guesthouse is also their home. Their policy may seem traditional in this day and age but of itself there is nothing wrong with that.”