Christian guest house owners lose Supreme Court battle

DailyMail 27 November 2013
A Christian couple have lost their latest court battle after they discriminated against a gay couple by saying they could not stay in a double room. Their case was today thrown out at the Supreme Court – the UK’s highest court – which found their decision amounted to sex discrimination under equality legislation.

…. The Bulls denied that they had discriminated against the couple, arguing that their policy of only allowing married couples to sleep in a double bed, in accordance with their religious beliefs, was applied to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. They said they had also prevented unmarried heterosexual couples from sharing double rooms since they opened 25 years ago.

Mr Hall and Mr Preddy said they were victims of discrimination. Mrs Bull, speaking outside the Supreme Court after the ruling was handed down, said: ‘Obviously, we are deeply disappointed and saddened by the outcome. ‘We are just ordinary Christians who believe in the importance of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. ‘Our B&B is not just our business, it’s our home. All we have ever tried to do is live according to our own values, under our own roof. ‘These beliefs are not based on hostility to anyone – we certainly bear no ill will to Steven and Martyn. Our policy is based on our sincere beliefs about marriage.

‘Britain ought to be a country of freedom and tolerance, but it seems religious beliefs must play second fiddle to the new orthodoxy of political correctness. ‘We appealed to the Supreme Court to introduce a bit more balance when dealing with competing rights of sexual orientation and religious liberty. ‘Somehow, we have got to find a way of allowing different beliefs to coexist in our society. ‘But the judges have sidestepped that big issue, and reinforced the notion that gay rights must trump everything else.

‘In particular, we are deeply troubled by the remarks of Lady Hale, who says rulings by European judges means gay rights are almost untouchable. ‘What does this mean for other people in Britain who believe in traditional marriage – not just Christians, but Muslims, Jews, people of all faiths and none? ‘We ask Parliament to take a serious look at how Christians with traditional beliefs are being left out in the cold.

‘We have no regrets about contesting this case, nor will we ever be ashamed of our beliefs. ‘We are not perfect people, but we are trying to do our best to live out our faith with honesty and consistency. And we will continue to do that, come what may.’

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