Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Berkshire: Gay couple take B&B owner to court

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Religion has no place in running a business. Denying anyone a service for religious reasons is wrong, even to an unmarried straight couple.

  2. Did this woman not learn anything from the case of the Bull’s in Cornwall, clearly not!

    1. Legally, there is a difference between the cases. The couple who tried to stay in the Bull’s B&B were civilly partnered; the couple in this case were not. In both cases, the B&B owners’ defence is that they’re not discriminating against gay people (which would be illegal), but rather against unmarried people (which is usually legal, however distasteful we might find it).

      The plaintiffs (i.e. the gay couple) in the Bull’s case successfully argued that, as civil partnership carries all the benefits of marriage, by treating civil partners differently to married couples the Bulls were discriminating based on the couple’s sexual orientation, which, in the provision of goods or services, is illegal. The case against the Bulls has effectively been won, as there’s no real chance that the Lords will overturn the verdict.

      This new case is very useful because it will (hopefully) broaden the precedent set in the case against the Bulls to include non-civilly-partnered couples.

      1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:28am

        I see the distinction, but it may actually do the opposite.
        The question is, is there a legal precedent to allow discrimination between married and unmarried couples of whatever persuasion?

        This opens an entirely new can of worms.

      2. Lawyers only need to find one openly unmarried heterosexual couple who have stayed at the B & B and the case will be over. I do not believe for one instant that anyone could successfully run such a business in this day and age, only accepting single room bookings, and those with marriage certificates (which again, she would have to check to justify her policy, and bolster her defense).

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Sep 2012, 12:17pm

    Appalling that a licenced business dealing with the public is trying to get away with this.

    These are the types who are supporting a ban on equal marriage.

  4. Stand by for the Mail and Torygraph printing stories about christian persecution and the “gay agenda”

    1. Yes, evil gay couples going out of their way to persecute innocent bigoted Christian B&B owners, what a joke!

  5. Here we go again. I only hope a lot of happy-clappy Christian money gets wasted once more.

  6. It doesn’t really matter to me but I do wonder whether either or both Michael Black and partner John Morgan, is religious or Christian. We haven’t been told what their religious affiliation is or is not.

    This could just as easily be about homophobic Christians versus gay Christians as about Christians versus gays.

  7. Whether either one of them is religious or regarless if they are hetro or gay, it makes no difference in the provision of goods and services. That service was denied because they were both male and requested a double bed. Their legal teams argument that they were not in a civil partnership again has no bearing on if a service should or should not be provided. Its blatent homophobic discrimination.

  8. “As Bible based Christians the Wilkinsons believe homosexual behaviour is unnatural and sinful in God’s eyes and therefore cannot be supported or approved of. They do not discriminate against people for their homosexual orientation and would always offer such guests single room accomodation. However, because of their Christian faith they are unwilling to accomodate homosexual behaviour in a small B&B which operates within the family home.”

    What homosexual behaviour would that be?, sleeping in a bed and eating breakfast? who says they are going to do anything else? but it’s no business of anyone’s should they choose to or not.
    I suppose the Wilkinson’s would rather accommodate heterosexual behaviour so they can approvingly listen in and spy on their paying guests heterosexual behaviour.
    Why can’t they just provide paying guests with clean sheets and a decent breakfast instead of all this prurient speculation about imagined sexual activities, faux moralising and discrimination.

    1. Dave North 18 Sep 2012, 1:29pm

      And these types have the gall to call gays sexual perverts.

      These freaks seem to be unhealthy obsessed with others sex lives.

      “”in a small B&B which operates within the family home.””

      No matter what way you word it. It is a business and subject to the same laws as every other business.

      Goons.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Sep 2012, 2:30pm

        A guest house or hotel are not private homes either as long as they are licenced as businesses and are subject to the law regarding the delivery of goods and service. Clearly, these fraudulent cherry-picking christians just don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept of discrimination or equality, but they’re the first to scream discrimination in instances such as these. Their business are not places of worship and as such those operating such enterprises are not above the law regardless of religious beliefs.

        1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:34am

          One could also argue, as an example, that if the B&B owners were smokers, they would have to abide by the public no-smoking laws, because their business is inviting members of the public onto their premises. I suspect if any private B&B tried it they would be heavily fined.

          I’m not totally sure of the definition, but I would assume that if anybody were allowed into a home that ran a business of any kind, the business legalities (public liability etc.) would take precedence over private matters.

          1. I work in a care home. Even the residents have to go into the garden to smoke, and this is their home, as much as the B & B owners. Whether that is law or care home policy, I am not 100% sure, but I doubt the owners would infringe non the residents rights in this way unless they had to.
            So, yes, the defense “this is our home” does not stand up.

    2. bearshaped 18 Sep 2012, 2:10pm

      If you are unwilling to offer a service within an equality value base then don’t offer a service. It really is that simple.

  9. Pavlos I have to ask- How do they know what heterosexual couples get up to in their double rooms? I vividly remember talking to a small hotel owner who regailed me with hair-curling stories of what sexual sheenanigans her male and female guests got up to in her rooms!

    1. I think they must spy on their guests don’t you?

  10. I do sometimes wonder if Christian-owned guest houses are being targeted by opportunists.

    I am sure a Christian couple would receive very short-shrift if they made a point of booking a double room in a gay guest house.

    The point is that there are tens of thousands of guest houses in the UK and ample number for some to cater for specialised markets such as specific faiths and persuasions.

    And by that I mean guest houses where Christian couples can book a room with two single beds, gay-themed guest houses that come equipped with a sling room in the cellar and porn playing on a continuous loop in the lounge area, etc.

    And yes, before anyone asks, I stayed at a few of the latter in my youth:- not the best of experience as I ended up having to barricade myself into my room, fending off the wild urges of fellow guests!

    I long for a gay couple to have the guts to try it on with a Muslim guest house:- but they won’t for the simple reason that Christians are such fair game these days.

    1. Dave North 18 Sep 2012, 1:25pm

      Tripe………

      1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:54am

        Is that the best you can come back with?

        1. Its all SamB deserves. You cannot argue logic and reason with a fool. Nice of you to sick up for the only other right wing lunatic in need of anger management, its good you stick together.

    2. The simple fact of the matter here is that you cannot refuse service to someone based on their sexuality, the law is very clear on this and working in the service industry, they should already know that.

      This is the same as you cannot refuse a room to an unmarried heterosexual couple.

      I can’t for the life of me why someone would deliberately target a guest house for that reason. You open your house to paying guests, you have to accept whoever those guests are.

      1. It wasn’t refused because they were homosexual, but because they were not married, she states this would be the same treatment for an unmarried heterosexual couple, so they have not been treated unfairly, as they have received the same treatment, an unmarried heterosexual couple would receive.

        1. “as they have received the same treatment, an unmarried heterosexual couple would receive”

          Irrelevant, as both are discrimination. You need to get an education, as most bigots do, you lack an understanding of the law. Maybe you can get a two for one with SamB, that cretin is an ignorant fool too.

          1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:43am

            It is not irrelevant, because as far as I know, there is no anti-discrimination laws for married/unmarried, and so legally these people are entitled to do this.

            It may be unjust and unfair, but that does not make it automatically illegal.

          2. Isn’t there? Surely a hotel can’t refuse to let an opposite-sex couple with different surnames have a double room, can it? So why should a B&B owner be allowed to?

        2. Matthew, do you honestly believe in this economic climate, they have NEVER taken in an unmarried heterosexual couple? I cannot accept that for a nanosecond. I hardly think that in the 21st century, couples would sign in as “Mr & Mrs Jones”, they would simply take their custom elsewhere.

        3. Well Matthew lest see if the lawyers can find any unmarried heterosexual couples who stayed there.

      2. But the law cuts both ways:- I know gay guest houses have moved on a lot, upped their game and now cater for a sophisticated and monied clientele, but because of the law as it stands I am disinclined to book into one because I know I won’t be guaranteed an all-gay environment, so it’s The Holiday Inn for me!

        Similarly, gay bars are now obliged to admit straight couples, which does somewhat take the edge off having a night out with your mates.

        I just think this whole discrimination thing has and is going too far and that we will be complaining when our culture and meeting places are diluted beyond all recognition due to the admission of all.

        I hear some still reminiscing how amazing Heaven was in the 1980s when it was men only, and how it totally went downhill when it changed its door policy.

        How can gay culture survive if it cannot operate a gay only policy?

        What would happen if a team of rugby players pulled up in a coach outside Chariots demanding a shower and steam?!

        1. What would happen if a team of rugby players pulled up in a coach outside Chariots demanding a shower and steam?!

          A good deal of excitement, I should imagine.

          1. I second that, but you know what I mean.

            By the same equation, there is nothing in law to stop a coach load of “non-believers” demanding entry to the local Mosque.

            I just think the law is a bit of an ass in this area and it reinforces integration and homogenisation, thus potentially wiping out meeting places for different cultures, creeds, sexualities and so forth.

            I abhor smoking personally, but its banning in public places has seen thousands of pubs, bars and clubs meet their demise since it as introduced in 2007.

            It just seems that the law is trying its damnedest to prevent people meeting up with like people in social environments of their choosing.

            With more and more people zoning out of reality and immersing themselves in virtual lives in cyberspace, surely the need for places for like people to converse in environments where they feel safe and respected are needed no more than ever?

          2. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:40am

            Sure, it made me laugh too, but Samuel has a very valid point.

            I also think that maybe these things go too far. I mean, in all honesty, would any self-respecting gay man wish to stay at some puritanical Christian B&B in the first place?

            OK, one can say “but it’s the principle that matters” – but we could make a rod for our own backs if these laws become so restrictive that everyone is allowed everywhere.

          3. I don’t necessarily disagree, but isn’t at least part of the issue that the “Christian principles” of the owner were not even alluded to on the website? If, before accepting the deposit, her conditions had been made clear, personally I would have found that better than preventing these poor guys from coming in after taking their booking (and deposit).

        2. I can’t see groups of lads saying “shall we go to G.A.Y. tonight?”. When i was a young man there was a pub called The Jester in B’ham, well known for it’s gay clientele. I found it intimidating, especially when a big man in leather shorts and leather peaked cap came out. And I’m gay!
          This generation may be more accepting of us, but that does mean they want to frequent gay venues, any more than I want to start attending Friday prayers at a mosque, because I have no anti-Islam prejudice.

      3. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:37am

        That is the nub of the argument: They were not refused because they were gay, they were refused because they were unmarried.

        OK, that may have been a minor detail in order to circumvent the law, but as always, the devil is in the detail.

        1. But (and at the risk of harping on about it), it’s a detail that wasn’t made clear from the beginning. I don’t think it should be permissible to change your mind about the customer’s or customers’ desirabily after accepting a booking and taking a deposit: that’s part of the contract you enter into if you provide a service.

          1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 4:51pm

            As Sam Goldwyn once said:
            “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
            Most companies do have trading Terms & Conditions, with which it is the obligation of the purchaser to read should they wish to. I would imagine if you went to any hotel chain and asked, they would have a copy.

        2. I’m not sure about the letter of the law, but having just completed a basic Equality & Diversity course, I can say that “marital status” is regarded as an area in which discrimination occurs, and is frowned on as much as anti-gay behaviour. Whether the 2010 Act specifically makes “marital status” a protected status under the law is something I leave to any lawyers out there.
          I hope someone can enlighten me!

    3. This is not a Christian B&B, it is a B&B run by an extremist “Christian” activist.
      Failing to provide safe hospitality to strangers makes Mrs Wilkinson unsuited to the B&B business where safe hospitality is the only real requirement and it is the failure to provide safe hospitality that makes her guilty of the the sin of Sodom.

      1. Well said, Pavlos. One of the most irritating traits of those whose quote “scripture” is that they so rarely read it, only cherry picking the bits that justify their bigotry. refusing “comfort” to strangers is a sin of which the Sodomites were guilty, they were not simply a 3000 BC version of Old Compton Road, as the hatemongers would have you believe.

    4. That There Other David 18 Sep 2012, 2:52pm

      “gay-themed guest houses that come equipped with a sling room in the cellar and porn playing on a continuous loop in the lounge area, etc”

      Excuse me, what? My partner and I are not walking sex lives, we’re people.

      1. It’s apparently quite unbelievable to these prurient and overly imaginative so-called Christian B&B owners that you and your partner, being a gay couple, might simply expect provision of a comfortable bed to sleep in together for a nights rest and to wake up to a decent breakfast served in the morning.

      2. My partner and I seem to have led very sheltered lives. Neither of us have a clue what a sling room is. anyone want to enlighten us?

        1. Neither of you have been admitted to A&E then?

          1. “Neither of you have been admitted to A&E then?”

            I’d say you spend quite a bit of time in hospitals where your madness can be monitored.

    5. Sam, you are a fool. You’re a disgrace to humanity.

      1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:50am

        Why? Because he asks the questions that so many others are too dim-witted to consider?

        The problem on here is that so many people think in black/white, yes/no good/bad totally polarised terms, when there are, to excuse the pun, at least fifty shades of grey in between.

        The problem with the law is it is designed to be all-encompassing, but unfortunately there are always going to be exceptions to the rule.
        My question to anybody here is:
        Would you be willing to forgo discrimination rights in Christian B&B’s in return for only allowing gay and gay-friendly people into gay bars?

        Because that is actually what we will be giving up if this line of legislation continues.

        1. Are you seriously suggesting you want to be denied a job, or risk being sacked because of your sexuality? Because that is want you are REALLY risking if we follow your argument, not just a room in a B & B.
          As with Health & Safety, some will take the law to extremes, but the alternative there is a situation where workers are killed or injured with no incentive on the employer to prevent a recurrence.
          The Equality Act 2010 is designed to ensure that Samuel B. and Spanner1960 can live their lives in the same freedom enjoyed by heterosexuals, at work, leisure or even booking into a B & B!

          1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 4:56pm

            Good response.
            I think you are confusing equality with discrimination though. Just because a woman might be my physical and intellectual equal doesn’t mean she can follow me into the Gents toilets…

            …and, you still haven’t answered my question.

        2. Yes spanner, when churches willingly do the same for marriage and gays are unconditionally welcomed by religious people.

          If you want equality you can’t just pick on one group.

          Your being rather black and white in your argument, there levels spanner, now who said that, oh yes, you before contradicting yourself.

          1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 10:25pm

            I’d just make sure you have your thermal underwear on when that happens, in preparation for your trip to hell.

          2. “I’d just make sure you have your thermal underwear on when that happens, in preparation for your trip to hell.”

            Seriously? This is an answer?

          3. Spanner1960 20 Sep 2012, 9:00am

            Yes.
            As in Hell will freeze over before “churches willingly do the same for marriage and gays are unconditionally welcomed by religious people.”

            It’s certainly not going to happen in our lifetime.

  11. It’s a funny situation when you think about what has come out of the recent equal marriage arguments.

    For example, some (wrongly) say that marriage is a religious (Christian) ceremony.

    Well, if that’s the case, then some people’s religious beliefs, or lack of, might mean that they don’t want a marriage for the very reason that it’s something religious or Christian, i.e. as part of their own belief system they reject marriage.

    So turning an unmarried couple (straight or gay) away could therefore been seen as discriminating against them for their religious beliefs (or lack of)…

    Maybe I’m over-thinking it.

    1. No, you are quite right to point out this important point, good post Jake.

  12. Talking about the Bull’s of Cornwall, does anyone know the outcome from when they took their case to Europe?

    1. I read recently the Bulls have decided to take it to the European court, but, obviously, only as a ploy to put off paying the compensation and to keep getting subsidised by the Christian Legal Centre. They’re a pair of rogues.

  13. Lawyers for Wilkinson argued that a person offering bed and breakfast in their own home was entitled to refuse to permit persons who were not married or in a civil partnership to share a double bed.

    But that evil cow Wilkinson would never have given them a room even if they were in a civil partnership.

    1. Which is why we need marriage equality .

      1. But then they’d just use their own definition of marriage just like the Bulls did on one version of their website…

        1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:58am

          They could try, but marriage is a legal construct, and even a religious marriage is not legal until the registry has been signed.

          If they tried the old “but it says in the Bible…” line, they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

  14. Check out this prayer request for Susanne Wilkinson so you’ll understand the degree of bonkers we are dealing with here.

    http://www.christiandoctrine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=955&Itemid=604

    1. @Pavlos; just read one of the prayer requests for Mrs Wilkinson where they talk about “the homosexual fury” , I’m tempted to put in one for all gays asking for a prayer to the sky fairy against these sanctimonious self-serving hypocrites and seeing how far it gets !……..
      B mwaaaaaah! (laughs out loud)

    2. Christian Doctrine appears to be yet another site associated with the Christian Institute, Christian Concern, Christian Legal Centre. It also seems quite extreme in its views.

    3. Oh, I was so tempted to post a comment, but I would probably have police banging on the door, I am so outraged!
      The phrase “Christian Mafia” springs to mind, but this is more KKK!

    4. God helps those that help themselves.

      They keep loosing because god knows they are wrong, they are just not listening to god.

      They should pray for themselves.

  15. An unmarried heterosexual couple would be treated the same, so there is no discrimination. Homosexuals need to learn that not everyone likes them, and the more they behave in this militant manner, the more people with become hostile towards them.

    They should have gone and found another B & B to stay in.

    This has to stop, prayers with Mrs Wilkinson.

    1. Wow Matthew a homophobe sticking up for a homophobe i am shocked,

    2. An example of how gay militancy is making the public weary and hostile to all gay people, the majority of him just want to live and let live a quiet life.

      As an out and open gay man I would not be so obtuse as to deny and vent my rage against any of what Matthew says above.

      1. That There Other David 18 Sep 2012, 2:53pm

        Isn’t it time you went back to the Catholic Lobbying Agency you so obviously work for and asked for a new assignment?

      2. If you book in advance online and pay a deposit, why should it be incumbent on you, the customer, to then have to scour the countryside to find alternative accommodation without notice?

      3. Get a f****g life Sam and spare us your paranoid delusions.

      4. “The majority of [whom] just want to live and let live a quiet life”…which presumably involves being able to stay in a B&B without worrying in advance whether the owner is a hateful bigot who won’t let you do so, because they purport to value a 2000-year-old book written by random people over scientific consensus.

        “As an out and open gay man”…I wonder. But if you are, you are quite frankly a traitor. Perhaps you hate yourself because you’ve swallowed all the deeply unpleasant propaganda, but some of us, ooh, I don’t know, just want to live a quiet life. As ourselves, being proud, and not putting up with being denied services just because of who we are. If you see yourself as subhuman, and are happy for others to also see you that way, then that is very sad, but don’t have a go at the rest of us for refusing to think that way.

    3. Then let them bring forward their evidence that all couples permitted to stay in a double room arrived with their marriage certificate in order to be granted access to their room. I have a funny feeling they won’t have any but I’m willing to let them prove me wrong

    4. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Sep 2012, 2:26pm

      A guest house or hotel is not a private home. If they are licenced to run a business catering to the public, they are subject to the laws of the land, irrespective of religious beliefs. Nobody is above such laws. I notice this woman doesn’t advertise her business solely for married christian couples, I wonder why? Right wing so-called ‘christians’ are just as militant. In fact, her refusal to accommodate these two men could be construed as blatantly extremist religion trampling on the civil (secular) rights of others in the delivery of goods and services. She’s already in violation of the civil laws of the country. She can’t be allowed to run a business where she discriminates against someone because her religious views are in conflict. Either obey the law, or close. Nobody is stopping her from believing what she wants or where she worships. Clearly, she has no concept of what it means to be a ‘christian’. Jesus Christ never condemned or judged.

    5. “The couple, who booked by email and paid a deposit, were turned away by the owner when they arrived at the B&B. Despite protestations from Mr Black that this could be unlawful discrimination, the owner refused to allow the couple to stay as it was “against her convictions”.

      James Welch, the legal director of Liberty, said: “A business with a “no gays policy” is as bad as one that says “no blacks; no Irish”. Liberty defends the rights of religious groups to manifest their beliefs, even when we disagree with them, but not to discriminate in the provision of goods and services.””

    6. An unmarried heterosexual couple would be treated the same

      Do you have proof of this?

      1. It’s a despicable lie. How strange that “lies make baby Jesus cry”, and yet Christian homophobes seem to think that telling lies is just fine if they think it helps them to discriminate against gay people. And in actual fact, they seem to put aside most of the other so-called religious values (love, compassion, tolerance, etc) when they’re hating on us. Who told them that homophobia is the most important thing about their “religion”? Not Jesus or “God”, that’s for sure.

    7. two wrongs don’t make a right. If they were that nasty to a hetero couple i hope they, too, would sue.

    8. Christian Mafia! Again, I cannot believe they have never taken in an unmarried heterosexual couple. Their business could not survive if they turned them away. As for their “justification”, it is based on the assumption that gay couples are engaged in sex every single night, even in long term relationships.
      Do the Wilkinsons, who are similar in age have sex every time they book into a hotel? This was no “dirty weekend”, just two men booking a place to rest their heads!

  16. Wow i looked at the prayer request and they are calling the Couple “Homosexual activists” so because they are standing up for their rights they are agitators persecuting a poor god fearing Christian woman. Arse-holes.

    1. If they are not activists what are they?

      Making a petty, trumped up case against a middle-aged lady who is guilty simply of holding on to her faith and refusing to be bullied into going against her principles makes them sound pretty extreme and bitter to me.

      These two chaps, who could have chosen from any number of other guest houses, are so driven by the urge for retribution that they can’t see who the real victim is him:- and it certainly isn’t either of them.

      But playing the victim card is par for the course of gays who shout the loudest today:- why not just develop a back bone and move along, instead of treading all over others’ rights to hold not their beliefs?

      1. I would be inclined to agree with you if the ‘middle-aged lady’ had made her ‘Christian’ principles clear from the outset. However, the first line of her B&B’s website says A warm & friendly welcome awaits all guests at Susanne Wilkinson’s Swiss Bed & Breakfast in the idyllic village of Cookham, near Maidenhead in Berkshire.

        http://www.swissbedandbreakfast.co.uk/

        Can you please explain why you feel the onus is on the customers in this instance to evaluate whether their custom would be welcome or not?

        1. The point is she IS welcoming of gay people, just not those who are not civilly wedded sharing a double bed.

          The same rule applies to heterosexuals so this is not a straightforward case of anti-gay discrimination at all!

          Who exactly is she discriminating against here, and why is she being persecuted for simply practising her enshrined beliefs under her own roof?

          Maybe I am missing something but this smacks of a nasty witch hunt to me, only in 21st Century England it is the Christians who are the targets today as government seeks to demonise Christianity in order to be the pre-eminent and prevailing power.

          1. The point is she IS welcoming of gay people, just not those who are not civilly wedded sharing a double bed.

            Can you direct me to the evidence for this? And even if that distinction is so, it isn’t – to repeat my earlier point – made clear on the website.

          2. Dave North 18 Sep 2012, 8:15pm

            Your naivety is beyond parody.

          3. Quick question here: Can you prove she doesn’t allow unwed straight couples to share her bed? (her word doesn’t count).

            Also, why is she in the service industry if she’s going to cut out massive sections of her target market?!

          4. But she did not turn the two old dears away for being gay!-

            The same rule – namely “no hanky panky under my roof unless you are married or civilly wed” – applied to everyone!!

          5. “The same rule – namely “no hanky panky under my roof unless you are married or civilly wed” – applied to everyone!!”

            Its like talking to a demented child. Listen carefully, you dumb f***:- that statement you made is discriminatory. Its against the law, regardless of gay or straight, to refuse accommodation based on religious belief.

          6. “The same rule applies to heterosexuals so this is not a straightforward case of anti-gay discrimination at all!”

            Oh yes, how very clever. No wonder BIGOTS like you don’t want equal marriage, because then the above form of malicious, hateful and despicable dishonesty will no longer be open to you.

            It never ceases to amaze me just how reluctant people like you are to just admit that you are homophobic, and you want gay people to be discriminated against and treated as lower forms of life because you think, stubbornly contrary to scientific consensus, that they are “deviant” and “unnatural”. Does your beloved “God” want you to lie, do you think?

            Please either align yourself with what science has agreed upon for decades or start being honest about your hate. Preferably the former, though I don’t hold out much hope.

        2. Interestingly she doesn’t refer to her property as a home, she refers to it as a bed and breakfast.

          No where in the conditions does it state that you must be married to use a double room.

          Her arguments are non existent.

      2. are you some sort of Christian Samuel?

        1. Not exactly.

          The lack of a foreskin down below is proof positive of that!

          I know what religion is all about:- people are brainwashed into their faiths, they have no choice in the matter and we have trouble accepting that, just as they have trouble accepting us.

          I personally denounced religion when I turned 13 and, as a supposed adult in the eyes of my faith, was allowed to choose my own direction.

          I chose one that embraced spiritual, humanitarian principles that sees us all as trying our best to get through life in our own way with our share of problems and struggles.

          I am fully aware of the injustices gay people have suffered, but I am equally aware of the injustices we are now bulldozing through as we trample over others’ indoctrinated beliefs.

          We’ve a lot to learn about forgiveness and compassion for our perceived enemies as we choose, instead, to fight fire with fire thereby exacerbating our own unhappiness.

          An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, after all.

          1. Yeah, cheers for the me-me-me lecture, its dullness not withstanding, it doesn’t change the fact you’re wrong.

          2. I studied the Bible for years, after a short but horrible period as a “born again” Christian. I became homophobic, denying my own nature. Continuing my studies after “losing my faith” (which was like shedding a huge burden), I realised how the homophobes had twisted and perverted the message of the Gospels.
            As far as this couple are concerned “let him without sin cast the first stone” seems a relevant quotation.

      3. That There Other David 18 Sep 2012, 3:00pm

        The ones shouting the loudest are the Christians wailing about losing their historical privilege to judge others (against the teachings of Christ of course).

        As for “playing the victim”, that would be the people trying to avoid following the law.

  17. The Swiss Bed and Breakfast
    “A warm & friendly welcome awaits all guests at Susanne Wilkinson’s Swiss Bed & Breakfast in the idyllic village of Cookham, near Maidenhead in Berkshire. This Swiss-English family offers first class hospitality in their spacious & comfortable home to business, tourist or family visitors from all around the world. English, French and German spoken

    Situated within a large garden in a tranquil lane of this rural village and next to a golf course and National Trust land which leads to the nearby River Thames, the B & B accommodation is offered within two beautifully presented double bedrooms with en-suite, and a single room with its own private bathroom facilities. In summer the outside swimming pool may be used by arrangement.”
    Oops! No mention of ban on gay or unmarried couples on website.

    http://www.swissbedandbreakfast.co.uk/

    1. Nor of “Christian” principles.

    2. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 5:22pm

      My question is:
      Had they actually stated their provisos on their website, would it have made any difference?

      Somehow, I think the combined hounds of Pink News would still be baying for their blood.

      1. To which my counter-question would be: if they had, do you think the couple in question would have chosen that B&B in the first place, any more than an elderly “Christian” couple would choose one that quite clearly was aimed at gay male clientele?

        My impression of the couple here is not that they’re what you might call rabid activists out to make a point, but two rather decent sorts who made a booking in good faith and were shocked to be barred from entering a business they’d already paid a deposit to.

        1. Spanner1960 20 Sep 2012, 9:07am

          OK, I see where you are coming from.
          But that said, as I asked the question earlier, why not?
          I think it perfectly acceptable if outfits specify precisely what they are about, and can alert people beforehand. That way customers are fully aware of the restrictions. I’m sure no pet lover would be offended if a B&B said “No dogs please”, any more than saying “No homosexual couples please”.
          I’m sure most gay people would much prefer to see that than show up in some pious home where both they and their Christian hosts all feel uncomfortable.

          1. If they said outright on their website that they had a no gay couples policy then they would already have infringed equality regulations, just as they would if they had advertised a no black couples or a no Jewish couples or no Irish couples or a no atheist couples ban.
            You can see how far reaching this could be if the likes of the Wilkinson’s and the Bull’s won their court cases, why stop at barring gays?

          2. Rather than writing “A warm and friendly welcome awaits all guests”, which is patently untrue, they could have said something like “Please note this is a traditional Christian household” or something like that, which would have been a lawful yet adequate signal of the “hosts’” values.

  18. Katie Kool-eyes 18 Sep 2012, 3:16pm

    I would like to know how many unmarried heterosexual couples have been turned away under the same “fine print” (although Checking their website, I could find no such prerequeste). I have a feeling no such couple exists, despite many couples not being married.

    I would also like to know their EXACT definition of marrage. Do they include the marrage status tax breaks give when a couple have lived together for many years? What about polygymous marrage? Marrage from overseas? Marrage from different religions? Marrage from same gender couples (in some countries it is legal, horray!)

    I would very much like to know the answer to these questions. I highly doubt they have considered the above forms of marrage as “non-marrage”, only when same gender couples are concerned.

    1. Katie Kool-eyes 18 Sep 2012, 4:16pm

      Common law! that’s what it’s called, the tax break version lol

  19. I have NO idea why any self respecting gay man would want to stay in a flea infested cess-pit like the outfit this old bat runs… People it is easy to avoid… If it looks like you would have to fight with the bed bugs for a space under the blankets then it is probably a good idea not to stay there…

  20. Tim Brierley 18 Sep 2012, 3:34pm

    xtian martyrs once again on a journey to a good drubbing in the courts. CP/marriage status is of no consequence in the provision of goods and services. Irrespective of ‘bed and brekafast in their own home’ this B&B is a business and therefore cannot discriminate on the basis of any protective characteristic. They were refused a bed because they were of the same sex, not because they were unmarried. These xtian muppets will try and cover up their bigotry but we know it is bigotry, plain and simple

  21. “It was simply the provision of the double bed which Mrs Wilkinson believed was wrong.”

    Why are people like this so obsessed with sex? Mind your own business! If you can’t stop thinking about what people may or may not be getting up to in the privacy of their own rooms then you shouldn’t be running a B and B.

  22. she is discriminating against EVERYONE who doesn’t live by her own narrow rules, gay couples, unmarried heteros, who knows, divorcees on their second marriage, maybe. She is forcing people to abide by HER definition of ‘moral’.

    1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 8:53am

      Yes, but my honest and genuine question is: Why not?
      Or will you be the first to complain that gay bars and hotels are full of straights with screaming children?

      1. I take your point, Spanner, but I am on the committee of a social club which this year gave equal rights to females. We are keen for women to join the committee to breathe new life and ideas into the Club, but so far no woman has shown any interest.
        Your idea that families are desperate to expose their children to gay bars and hotels is understandable but wrong, both practically and morally.

        1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 5:25pm

          That’s not what I am saying.
          I am merely extrapolating the effects of an equal rights policy applied to any and all situations. I for one like the idea of men-only golf clubs, or Women’s institutes etc. So where does one draw the line?

          1. But aren’t the rules different for clubs? A B&B is as much a service aimed at the public as a hotel is, isn’t it?

          2. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 10:27pm

            Well, maybe they are, but one can imagine that would be next on the equalities hitlist.

            I am merely trying to define if there is a line drawn in the sand, if any.

  23. Yes-but how does she know WHAT any couple of either both or opposite sexes are getting up to in her rooms? I mean-you don`t have to have sex in a double bed-you can have it on the floor,behind the door-in the bathroom-anywhere. Unless she has a “BigBrother” type of establishment where all guests are monitored 24 hours a day for any sign of any sexual activity.

  24. This is happening AGAIN?!

    This lady was clearly living under a rock.

  25. If you are in the service industry you really cannot hold such views (or voice them at any rate).

    Also the argument that there is no discrimination because they are not civil partners is laughable! Would she refuse an unwed man and woman a room…?
    If she does she is losing a lot of business.

  26. I own a B&B in Prince Edward County in Ontario Canada. And BTW I am lesbian and would love to have you stay with me!! Any time fellas. http://www.bbcanada.com/saraswatispa

  27. If I ran a cafe and refused to serve a customer because he or she was ‘foreign looking’… I’d be sued.

    If I was a bus driver and refused to let a disabled passenger board. I’d be sued

    These are all businesses and are subject to the discrimination laws that exist for the very reason to protect people from discrimination.

    Clearly these luddites are still stuck in the stone age and thus need a good wake up call. Perhaps being sued might just be the tonic they need.

    Good luck to Mr Black and Mr Morgan!

    Susanne; wake up and join the 21st Century for facks sake!!!

    Religion has no place in a business. You are providing a service… and thus you must respect everyone. Religion has no place to come before providing a service to the public. Leave religion at home. if your business is your home, you must separate these.

  28. GingerlyColors 19 Sep 2012, 6:52am

    I don’t agree with all the death-threats, arson-threats and other threats of violence that have been made against Mrs. Wilkinson – if we behaved in such a manner it will give ammunition to the anti-gay brigade.
    It would be better to go to Tripadvisor and write a scathing review about the Swiss B+B instead.
    At one time B+B’s got away with displaying ‘No Blacks’ signs in their windows, something that would get them shut down straight away nowadays. If you are going to run a business you have to put any prejudices, religious or otherwise, aside.

  29. “Let me be clear about this – God still loves bigots, and so does the church, but they are in error. The scale of their sin cannot be disregarded, and for the sake of both them and others who might be led astray it is essential that this error is made abundantly clear, and that the state recognises the truth. Sadly, this involves denying them some basic legal rights, for the good of both them and society at large.

    It’s the loving thing to do.”

    http://recoveringagnostic.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner/

  30. This is a straightforward case, surely. The only possible defense is “we object to their unmarried status”. In which case, the prosecution only has to find one unmarried couple who booked in under different surnames to win the case. If the owners refuse to open their books, they effectively admit their guilt.
    What we should be pressing for is the removal of the license from the bigots. It is time the equality laws had some bite, and people who provide a service be made to understand they have responsibilities, and that, if these are incompatible with their beliefs, then tough, find another job!

    1. Spanner1960 19 Sep 2012, 5:00pm

      Proof of guilt cannot be determined on omission.
      One is charged with committing an act, not failing to.
      I think you might find this is not as clear-cut as you may think.

      1. Oh yes you can spanner.

        If you stand by and watch someone rape someone, you can be held accountable even though you did nothing. And have you heard of handling stolen goods, you didn’t steal the item and may not know it is stolen but you can still be liable. Harbouring a criminal is punishable by law.

        Willingly doing nothing can be as bad as doing something.

        Ignorance is no defence in law, especially around a business.

        With the bulls case isn’t exactly invisible. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they are testing the law to see if they have found a limit, it might come out that they did this deliberately to try and help the bulls case that is being looked over in the European courts.

        1. Spanner1960 20 Sep 2012, 9:11am

          You are referring to failure to prevent a crime, not to show by not doing something you are by default guilty of a crime; that is a really convoluted and potentially hazardous legal precedent, and no court would accept it.

    2. I am not sure, but I think their defence is it’s their home so they should be allowed to decide who can use the rooms, in particular “the big doubt bed” as she keeps referring to it.

  31. And this is from someone who considers their religion to be the most ‘tolerant’ & ‘loving’. Wowsers. If this is tolerance & love I’d shudder to think what intolerance & hate consists of.

  32. SALLY-JANE TRULY SCRUMPTIOUSDELANEY 21 Mar 2013, 3:35pm

    COME AND STAY WITH US BOYS WE WILL MAKE YOU VERY WELCOME ! THE SANDGATE BOUTIQUE HOTEL BLACKPOOL ACCEPTS ANYONE RELATED TO ADAM AND EVE COZ WE ARE ALL FAMILY …THEY CALL THEMSLEVES CHRISTIAN HA HA HA PAH THATS PANTS ! OUTRAGED IN BLACKPOOL

  33. SALLY-JANETRULY SCRUMPTIOUS DELANEY 21 Mar 2013, 3:46pm

    PLEASE COME AND WORSHIP THE REAL GOD …GOD IS A WORD WITH AN “O” MISSING THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR THE “O” DONT ALREADY HAVE THE GOOD IN THEIR HEART .GOD IS GOOD .GOOD IS ME ! I HAVE NO NEED TO GO TO A CHURCH TO FIND MY EXTRA “O” ITS RIGHT HERE INSIDE MY HEART ! http://WWW.CHECKIN4LESS.COM

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all