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Another gay couple sue B&B which turned them away

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  1. Awaits the poor victimised Christian bigots article in the Daily Mail

  2. I heard part of an extraordinary discussion last night on Radio 4 that was basically about the issue of whether people suffering from religious delusions have the right to act upon them. I recommend listening to it. The Cornwall B&B case is referred to many times. And what I found particularly frightening was that normally LGBT-supporters were arguing FOR the religiously-deluded to be able to act upon their delusions (also referred to “beliefs”).

  3. What a joke 27 Jan 2011, 12:33pm

    They should have had that sign outside saying


  4. Eddy . . . thanks for this link.

    I agree, very disturbing!!!

  5. If you are interested in the delusions that Eddy is higlighting, come and view more; as expressed towards the end of this thread

  6. Eddy –
    You mean the ‘moral maze’ – I heard it too. A pathetically inadequate discussion which did not address why any belief should excuse someone from obeying the law, and in which it was repeatedly asserted that belief is pointless unless you are allowed to act on it – effectively ignoring the issue of how such action should be limited. Muslims stoning apostates, anyone ? A Catholic apologist had the gall to say the Church was against discrimination against gays and Michael Burke blithely said that British law had been based on Judaeo-Christianity for 2000 years. Tosh. There was no English let alone British law more than a millenium ago and the law echoes a complete rag-bag of values. What unbelievable rubbish. Beyond parody.

  7. Jock S. Trap 27 Jan 2011, 1:05pm

    I think the main thing on why the Laws of this country need to be obeyed by all equally is because if we promote ourselves to be multi-culture then we are catering many cultures, communities and faiths.

    Therefore following 2000 years of Judaeo-Christianity in British law cannot be upheld. The law of the land needs to be British law on rights and equals.

    Just as people do not stop others worshipping their faith, their right to culture we all have the right to be who we are in our communities and not be discriminated for it.

    Christians are the first to preach harmony. However just a few nasty ones Chose to destroy any chance of any rights for anyone but themselves.

  8. Good luck to them
    as for the moral maze – I am not gonna listen as it would frustrate, the bible says to obey the laws of the land you live in yet these cherry-picking idiots ignore that whilst they choose the homophobic mistranslated re-edited nonsense, the bible even says something about do unto others as they would unto you, it’s sadly predictable that the cherry-pickers are gonna whine that they are persecuted

  9. These homophobic people need a 6 figure fine, otherwise they will just keep doing it.

  10. I really don’t like how they’re suing for money. By all means take every anti-discrimination course of action possible, but don’t fight for money you don’t deserve. Yes, they were bigots using religion as an excuse for being hateful, but seriously – how does that give you the right to money? Be an adult and show them how they’re wrong, don’t just increase the animosity they feel by taking money from them.

  11. March 21 2010:
    Gay couple turned away from B&B by Christian owners

    ‘Shocked and embarrassed’ pair say they felt treated like lepers and reported matter to police

    A gay couple were turned away from a bed and breakfast by its Christian owner who claimed it was against her convictions for two men to share a bed.

    Michael Black and John Morgan from Brampton, Cambridgeshire, booked a double room at the B&B in Cookham, Berkshire, for Friday night.

    When they arrived, Susanne Wilkinson and her husband Francis refused to allow them to stay. The owner said later that she had turned them away because it was against her policy to accommodate same sex couples. Black and Morgan claimed they were treated like lepers as a result of their sexuality. They reported the matter to Thames Valley police and have given a statement to police. Under the Equality Act 2006 it is illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    The couple had been in the village, near Maidenhead, to meet some friends for dinner and to see a local play.

    Black, a 62-year-old self-employed exams consultant, said: “We’re two respectable middle-aged men. John is leader of the Lib Dem group on Huntingdon town council.

    “This was the first time either of us had experienced homophobia at first hand, despite being aged 56 and 62. We were shocked and embarrassed.

    “Mrs Wilkinson saw us both before we got out of the car and immediately acted in an unwelcoming, cold way, but my boyfriend and I were polite and friendly.

    “She said if we’d told her in advance she would have told us not to come.”

    She apologised for turning them away and she returned their deposit and was in no way abusive, the couple said.

    Black said: “We want to try to prevent other people from going there and suffering discrimination. Whatever her private views, that I can’t change. Legally she can’t discriminate.

    “It is like we were treated as lepers in the worst possible way.”

    Full article here:

  12. Jock S. Trap 27 Jan 2011, 3:00pm

    @ Alex

    Mr. Black and Mr. Morgan have said if they win any compensation will go to Oxfam.

  13. Give them an ASBO then? Unless we hit these people in their pockets they ain’t gonna stop! They think moral right is on their side.

  14. From same article linked to above:

    Friendly welcome (lol)

    “Mr Wilkinson disputed the couple’s claim that they had not been given a friendly welcome.”

    “We are Christians and we believe our rights don’t have to be subordinated. We have religious freedom and we are not judging that but we are not prepared to have that sort of activity under our roof,” he said.”

    They sound quite hostile to me.

  15. The same people would not have given a bed to a black couple fifty years ago.

    The same people would not have given a room in their Inn to a teenage pregnancy two thousand years ago.

  16. The same people would have refused a room to the two angels who visited Sodom before it was destroyed for the lack of hospitality shown to strangers.
    (according to the legend)

  17. Here they are talking about it on TV
    Starts 42Min 40Sec

  18. they are perpetrating the sin of Sodom and Gommorah by being inhospitable but I’m guessing that slip the homophobes minds

  19. I agree totally . . .

    The “Sin of Sodom and Gormorrah”,
    has always been about “Inhospitality”
    i.e; when Angels call at your door, you simply do not invite them into your home and then rape them . . . very inhospitable.

    Simile . . . when you run a “Christian” B&B, you do not abuse your guest by saying that they are sinfull; and then turn them away when all they want is a bed for the night

  20. Isn’t it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of marital status?

    And what about when I go on holiday with friend and we share a room with twin beds, for economy?

  21. @qv, I keep asking that question but nobody has provided an answer yet, it doesn’t seem to have come up for clarification in the recent court case with the Bulls either.
    Anyone know if it’s legal to refuse rooms to unmarried straight couples, sounds like the 1940’s.

  22. qv…as far as I know, gay civil partners are not considered “married” under the current law regarding the marriage causes act of 1973 in which it defines marriage only between one man and one woman. However, they are by law legally joined in a civil partnership and are supposed to be accorded the same courtesy as straight married couples. Had they been allowed to marry, I would surmise that B&B landlords would have a much harder time using religious beliefs to discriminate under current equality laws of 2006. I often wonder how these bigots could determine if a straight couple were married with or without a wedding ring? I doubt if they could ask for evidence since it would be illegal anyway.

  23. Good luck to them :)

  24. Ah, sadly in your dreams, Robert. I’d bet you money that when we ARE allowed to marry religious people will still seek to discriminate against us by saying that we don’t fit their personal definition of marriage. Remember that bit on the Bulls site which so kindly spelt it out (one man, one woman)? So to the bigots we still wouldn’t count

    They want the freedom to limit others’ freedom; the freedom to disobey our laws; and the freedom to set themselves up as the sole deciders of what’s right – all driven by a very human, spiteful bigotry.

    I’m glad any damages, if won, would be donated to Oxfam.

  25. Can anyone please tell me, is it really legal today to discriminate against unmarried heterosexual couples and refuse them a room?

    if so It seems unbelievable to me in 2011 that it should be so.

  26. Its a good job Mary did not turn up at the inn with her sister!

    No sorry love no room at the inn we have religious objections….try the same sex couple accommodation at the arena. Just tell the guard to put you next to the lions.

  27. If they get any compensation they should go on a cruise on the Queen Mary 2. I would.

  28. I think the worst thing about this is that they were told by the police that they had to make a civil claim in order to get justice – given the cost of legal proceedings, and the coming cuts to legal aid etc, the need for recourse to the civil law system is disgusting and basically means you would have no recourse under the goods and services act unless you could afford to challenge this kind of behaviour – it should be a criminal, not a civil matter, or whole sections of society are cut out of these protections in practice. I know I certainly couldn’t afford such action.

  29. fantastic news….just hope there are more cases to test the law…

    the last case about the hoteliers confused me a bit, I don’t understand what the difference is now that the Bulls have changed their adversting to say they only give double beds to different sex married couples….are they allowed to still do this, specifically define marriage as between man and woman for their christian purposes—why did they change their advertising??

  30. I am counting down the days to the first case of a straight couple suing for being refused a bed at a gay hotel. It will happen, mark my words, because we all know it goes on, just like straights are refused admission in some gay clubs and pubs. Pot, kettle, black anyone?

  31. Luke from Canada 28 Jan 2011, 2:14am

    my issue is a b&b is a public building, it is against the law to discriminate irregardless. An owner of a public building cannot say oh you can but you cannot, its blatant discrimination based on sexual orientation, that is clear.

  32. Sexism and racism are just different faces of the same crime. The courts are still missing the point. What would a court do if the Bulls had told an interracial couple they wouldn’t be allowed a double bed because of their condition?

  33. “I am counting down the days to the first case of a straight couple suing for being refused a bed at a gay hotel. It will happen, mark my words”

    Another “William Classic” with all the usual trimmings of ludicrousness.

    William, no one here is saying that a gay hotel can refuse straight people, and quite right too. Why is it you seem incapable of a rational discourse without ridiculous alternate scenarios that have zero bearing on the current situation being discussed?

  34. Tim Hopkins 28 Jan 2011, 8:06am

    Pavlos, the answer is that it is not unlawful discrimination if a service turns someone away on grounds of marital/civil partnership status.

    In other words, a B&B can turn a couple away because they are not married/CPed. Or it can turn a couple away because they ARE married/CPed. But they must treat marriage and CP the same, because to do otherwise would be sexual orientation discrimination.

    In employment, it IS unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone because they are married/CPed. But it is NOT unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone because they are NOT married/CPed. Again, the employer MUST treat marriage and CP the same in all cases.

    The law about discrimination on grounds of marital/CP status is, as you can see, anomalous, for historical reasons, and it’s a pity it wasn’t regularised in the Equality Act 2010.

    In the Cornwall B&B case, the discrimination was not on grounds of marital/CP status, but on grounds of sexual orientation, because the B&B treated a CPed couple different from a married couple.

  35. “In other words, a B&B can turn a couple away because they are not married/CPed”

    Different in Ireland:- no provider of goods or services can discriminate on 9 grounds under Equality Legislation, one is sexuality and another is marital status.

    Unless you’re a church, of course, apparently god like discrimination.

  36. If the couple are so keen to follow the bible then maybe the wife needs to be a little quieter as per the Bible extract from Timothy chapter 2;

    ”Also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion. Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.”

    I find it sad that what I am sure are a good, decent couple deep down are so lost in an atiquated belief. We all know we should live well, not steal, love your neighbour. Do people really need a written guide to do so?

    A very sad story all round for all parties.

  37. Jock S. Trap 28 Jan 2011, 9:19am

    @ William

    Actually a friend of a friend of my parents knew of a straight Christian couple who tried that. They booked into a Gay Hotel for a weekend, were acceptable but just informed that it was indeed a Gay Hotel.

    Turns out that even though the Christian couple were accepted they did nothing to but complain about all the other residents to the point of being nasty and bitchy. Dictating their own beliefs.

    The owners questioned them to why they wanted to stay there if it was against their beliefs. Apparently they just wanted to see if they would be accepted.

    Even thought it went beyond their belief, not only did they feel the need to prove if a Gay Hotel/B&B would accept them they felt the need to abuse all while they were there.

    They had to be asked by the owners to behaviour responsibily or leave. They left.

    I don’t believe any Gay/Lesbian would behave like this against anybodies beliefs. If anything we’d probably just keep it to staying and not socialising.

    My parents are religious but even they thought the way this Straight Christian couple acted was totally unacceptable.

    Of course this side of things won’t get reported because it makes the Christians in question look bad.

  38. @Tim Hopkins,
    Thanks Tim, I understood the equal treatment thing but I’m aghast if as you say … it is really not against the law for an hotelier to refuse a double room to unmarried couples (for that reason alone) in the 21st Century whether the couple is same sex non-cp’d or opposite sex unmarried.
    If the couple are adults then I don’t think it’s for a hotel to enquire whether a couple is married or cp’d let alone be allowed refuse a double room on that basis alone.
    In Malaysia or the Emirates you might expect it but in UK today …shocking!

  39. Brilliant article by Johann Hari
    Johann Hari: Why is it wrong to protect gay children?
    Touches on the B&B discrimination story, as well as Melanie Phillips etc.

    To justify their discrimination against gay people, these few homophobes concoct a scenario in which they are The Real Victims

  40. @William — “… because we all know it goes on …” — do we ? Have you got any reason at all for holding your belief ? Maybe get some evidence before levelling a charge of hypocrisy.

  41. Do people remember the quarrelsome self-hating gay man “Rob H” on these threads? His name doesn’t seem to be appearing here anymore.

    I think he may be using another name to stir things up these days.

  42. Iris, you’re probably right, perchance to dream! I’m convinced if we get more cases such as this, its going to make civil marriage equality even more compelling, no matter if a B&B owner feels conflicted by religious beliefs.

    Beberts….gay tory = oxymoron in my view! Many of them would be more than happy to maintain the bain on civil marriage equality. None of them are pressuring Cameron either and they won’t. None of the 10 countries where marriage equality was legalised had conservative governments when the law was enacted and I’ve no doubt it won’t happen under a tory government because they kow-tow to the religious bigots in the House of Lords and the state cult, just like Blair did. They’ll come up with a paper-thin excuse not to legalise it, you can bet on it.

  43. Michael Moore, CairnsBlog 28 Jan 2011, 10:40pm

    Love it how the owner writes in the very first sentance on her website…

    “A warm & friendly welcome awaits all guests at Susanne Wilkinson’s Swiss Bed & Breakfast…”

    ALL? Obviously not

  44. Tim – so the tactic behind the hoteliers new adversting (below) is still illegal??? If so why are they still saying this on the website???

    “Here at Chymorvah we have few rules, but please note that as Christians we have a deep regard for marriage(being the union of one man to one woman for life to the exclusion of all others).
    Therefore, although we extend to all a warm welcome to our home, our double bedded accommodation is not available to unmarried couples Thank you”

    Are they allowed to come up with their own Christian definition of marriage and specifically just offer double rooms to these ? Has Stonewall written to them again?

  45. P A Mag LOCHLAINN 30 Jan 2011, 6:38am

    I know many Gay Christians who see their union as a gift from God. Have they no right to live out THEIR version of Christianity? Should the law back one Christian view over another?

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