Cornwall B&B to restrict guests to Christians only: non-profit Christian status could save business
MARAZION, Cornwall, March 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Peter and Hazelmary Bull will be able to keep their business open and continue to restrict shared rooms to married couples, by reworking their bed and breakfast as a non-profit, Christian-only guesthouse.
The Bulls said this week that they are acting on the advice of the legal defence group, the Christian Institute, who advised them to form a limited company which will state in its articles that rooms are offered only to those who agree to abide by their “Bible-based beliefs.”
The Christian Institute told This Is Cornwall on Thursday, “They had to find a way of still running a business so they can pay their mortgage without compromising their beliefs.”
The Bulls are planning an educational dinner for Christians on the Jewish festival of Passover next Friday.
The Bulls became the object of a legal test case by homosexual organizations last year when they refused to rent a room in the business, the Chymorvah Hotel in Marazion which is also their home, to two homosexual men.
In September 2008, the Bulls received a booking call from Mr. Steven Preddy asking for a room for “Mr. and Mrs. Preddy.” When Preddy arrived with his male partner, Martyn Hall, the Bulls refused the shared room. They explained that it was the standing policy of the business not to allow unmarried couples of any sex to share a room, and insisted that their objection had nothing to do with “homophobia.”
The two men took the Bulls to court, insisting that they had been discriminated against, in violation of the Equality Act.
The courts found against the Bulls in a decision that has been described by homosexual campaigners as a “landmark” ruling. They were forced to pay £3,600 (approximately $5,468 U.S.) in damages but vowed that they would not allow the case to change their policy. The Bulls have now had permission to have the case heard in the country's highest court – the Supreme Court
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The Bulls spoke with the Cornishman newspaper. “We are not fanatics,” Mrs. Bull said. “We have often been portrayed as being bigoted. I am not homophobic. I have no problem with them – I have always thought of them as people and enjoy their company. It is just that we thought it would be wrong for here."
“It had nothing to do with homophobia. All the way through we have always said no unmarried couples; it just happens that homosexuals fit into that category," she said. "It is a terribly difficult subject.”
The battle has hurt business, she said, with the hotel having been dropped from the English Tourist Board’s listing on Visit England over the policy. This means that the business is denied advertising space in many guidebooks.
Mrs. Bull also added that the case is generating interest from the business world. “When we had the trial, there were a number of local B&Bs who said, ‘we are watching this very closely because we want to be able to say no sometimes’, not necessarily to that particular group of people but just on certain occasions.”