Christian B&B couple appeal to Supreme Court re: fine for refusing room to homosexuals
LONDON, August 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The British Supreme Court has granted an appeal to Peter and Hazel Mary Bull, hoteliers who were sued by homosexual activists when they refused a room in their bed and breakfast to two gay men.
In January 2011, Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy won their case brought to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) claiming that the B&B’s rules against unmarried couples sharing a room was in reality a case of “homophobic discrimination” and the Bulls were fined £3,600.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an extra-judicial body set up to administer the UK’s Equality Act’s Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007 and functions in a similar way to Canadian Human Rights Commissions. That is, although the case was heard in the Bristol County Court, the two men’s legal expenses were covered by the taxpayer. The Bulls, however, were entitled to no such public assistance and would have had to pay the expenses themselves had the Christian Institute, a national charity which defends the religious liberty of Christians, not stepped in.
The judge in the Bristol County Court said although he had found that the Bulls had broken the Equality Act, the ruling affected the Bulls’ right to religious liberty and allowed an appeal. But in February 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld the previous ruling that the guesthouse policy breached equality laws.
The Bulls’ policy for their Chymorvah Private Hotel, run out of their home in Cornwall, has been in place since they opened their business in 1986: they have never allowed unmarried couples whether homosexual or heterosexual to share a double room.
When the Labour government included “sexual orientation regulations” in the Equality Act, they were warned by experts that it would backlash on certain groups, including, specifically, Christian bed and breakfast owners. The Bulls never believed they were treated fairly in the suit and critics said that they had been singled out as an example by the homosexualist political lobby.
The news of the suit spread rapidly on the internet and the couple were inundated with obscene and threatening phone calls and emails.