Supreme Court Will Hear Hotelier Gay Discrimination Case


British B&B owners and self-avowed devout Christians Hazel and Peter Bull have been granted a case review by the UK’s Supreme Court after the couple were told by two lower courts that equality laws mean they cannot deny same-sex couples a double room when running a public establishment.

This comes after the court of appeals, in a unanimous decision earlier this year, declared that a Bristol judge was right inruling in 2011that the Bulls, owners of the Chymorvah Private Hotel near Penzance, Cornwall, had indeed violated the rights of gay couple Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy when they denied the couple a double room based on the couple’s sexuality. The appeals court noted that while Britiain’s equality laws grant license for private religious beliefs, those beliefs are not suitable justification for discrimination in the public sector.

The Bulls maintain that they refused a double room to Hall and Preddy based on a strict policy, in place since the time of opening their home as a seven bedroom hotel, that double rooms would only be available for married couples. They said that this therefore meant they were not discriminating on grounds of the couple’s sexual orientation, but rather because the pair were unmarried. The Bulls also said that an oversight during the booking procedure had meant they had not made that policy clear over the phone.

However, Gay couple Hall and Preddy, who are civil partners, claimed that the ban was about their sexual orientation because they are automatically excluded by the Bulls’ rooming policy for the fact that, under current English law, they are not allowed to get married.

The 2011 ruling ordered Mr and Mrs Bull to pay a total of 3,600 in damages to Hall and Preddy.

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute, which backed the Bulls’ legal fight,said in a statement released at the time of losing at the appeals court: “Peter and Hazelmary have been penalised for their beliefs about marriage. Not everyone will agree with Peter and Hazelmary’s beliefs, but a lot of people will think it is shame that the law doesn’t let them live and work according to their own values under their own roof.”

This case is being earmarked as one of several important tests for British equality laws that place the immutable characteristic of sexuality above the choice of private religious belief when squared in the public sector.



Related Reading:
Gay Couple Wins Discrimination Case Against Hoteliers Who Refused them a Room
British Hoteliers Who Refused Gay Couple a Double Room Will Appeal Court Loss
British “Gay” Hotels to be Investigated for Discrimination Against Straight Couples

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to antonella.beccaria.


David Greensmith
David Greensmith5 years ago

Let them take it to the high court. Denying them that would just enable more of the whining we are currently hearing from Christians who claim they are victims of discrimination, but in fact are just being forced to obey the same law as everyone else. They will go to the High Court and lose. The law is very, very clear. The only verdict has to be that they are found guilty again of breaking the law.

Sally S.
Sally S5 years ago

I can't believe this case is still going on but I suppose even bigots must be allowed their day in court. If the supreme court upholds the law of the land they won't win and it will have cost them a great deal of money trying to defend an indefensible position. Good luck to Hall and Preddy.

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D5 years ago

American Christian Taliban! Indeed, a valid way to look at this.
May success follow Martyn and Steven in all their endeavors.

Louis Olivencia
Lou Olive5 years ago

Just imagine...Peter Bull has just been run down by a car!
At the hospitals operating table ( the operating doctor happens to be gay) What then?

Do you thing he'd have anything to say then?

I don't think so!

Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago

This too shall pass... foolish people trying to put limits on the unlimitable. They'll learn sooner or later that's just never a good idea.

pre,tpse w.
pre,tpse w5 years ago

Well, if Jesus supposedly had no wife or female lovers, perhaps he was gay, too. Either way, isn't he the one who is quoted as saying, in effect, "Anyone without sin, throw the first stone"?
There seem to be a lot of first stone-throwers like Mr. & Mrs. Bull among Christians and other religious groups.

Elaine McAuliffe
Elaine McAuliffe5 years ago

Sorry to see the American Christian Taliban infecting the rest of the world.

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

EXACTLY, Violet!

Violet R S.

there was a time they wouldnt allow black people in because of their it not the same thing?

Valarie Snell
Valarie Snell5 years ago

i hope Hall and Preddy are successful