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UK: Gay couple win B&B case against Christian owners

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  1. That There Other David 18 Oct 2012, 1:48pm

    According to the BBC Website this was the reaction from the Wilkinsons…

    “We believe a person should be free to act upon their sincere beliefs about marriage under their own roof without living in fear of the law. Equality laws have gone too far when they start to intrude into a family home.”

    Proving that they still don’t understand that when you turn your home into a business it is no longer your home. You are just living in your business.

    1. Exactly! I saw that too, and it really winds me up. By all means behave as you please and make whatever rules you like under your own roof, just don’t think those same rules can apply if you’re providing a business or service under it.

    2. You beat me to it! I saw this and was thinking the same thing.

      The simple fact here is if you don’t want these laws encroaching into your family home then your family home should not be opened up to provide a bed and breakfast service. Stupid woman.

    3. Does it not remain private property?

      1. Spanner1960 18 Oct 2012, 9:24pm

        Yes, but most businesses are on private property.
        Owning the land does not entitle you to define your own laws.

    4. We lived above my grandfather’s shop. It was his home, but the cat was not allowed in the shop, for obvious reasons. If you live in a pub, you cannot serve under 18’s, although it’s your home. It’s no defense.

  2. Great news!

  3. Cue the cries of “Persecution” followed by a pointless appeal with more money pi$$ed away instead of being used to help those in need. The big Guy upstairs would be so proud

  4. And another victory against discriminatory bigots. Those who run B&B’s MUST understand that their home is a business, and must be operated as such.

    Suzanne; you go on about equality laws going too far. THE EQUALITY LAWS ARE THERE THERE FOR A REASON. You cannot discriminate. End of.

    Now, pay up the money to Mr Morgan and Mr Black.

    Bet you’ll run off to the Bulls of that other discriminatory B&B, the Chymorvah, for advice and consolation.

    Dear me, when will these ‘Christians’ learn?

  5. Note to all B&B owners and hoteliers. If you want to open your homes for this kind of business, you have to act within the law and not refuse your good and services to people based on their sexual orientation.

    It really is not that too difficult a notion to understand is it?

    Now watch these people try to appeal.

  6. Common sense prevails! How well I remember My partner and I arriving in a small town (hardly more than a village) in France. “Monsieur” seemed a little taken aback at the idea of two guys asking for “une chambre avec grand lit” (a room with a double bed) but quickly showed to a very pleasant alternative to the rather confining single beds we had been originally given. In true Gallic style he made a fortune at the restaurant and bar that night as half the town turned out to see “les mecs anglais”! It was a great night!

  7. Excellent news! But I bet the US-inspired unchristian fundies will encourage the Wilkinsons to appeal and encourage their misconceptions and fan the flames of ‘persecution’.

    What the Wilkinsons and others need to understand is that a business is a business even if it’s a B and B and has to abide by the rules; and what other people may or may not do in bed is none of their business! Obey the law or find something else to do.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Oct 2012, 2:35pm

    They’re free to believe what they want, nobody is denying them that right but when it’s a business, which this clearly is, then they are subject to the law as the rest of us are, no exceptions. If they want to discriminate, then close down and just invite people of your choosing and beliefs into the privacy of your home, but of course, you can’t charge them, stupid woman. Why don’t these religious nutters get it, that’ businesses are not allowed to discriminate in the delivery of goods and services. There is no opt out law for religious beliefs in that respect. Keep religion in your home or place of worship, not in the public domain.

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Oct 2012, 2:37pm

    Just wait for a religious nutter at C4M/CI cry persecution. Lord Carey will have a hissy fit of course and Anne Widdecome will really get her big smelly bloomers in a twist, assuming she wears any.

    1. I’ve just had my lunch! I could have done without the AW knickers bit. Bleurrrrrggghhh!

  10. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 2:45pm

    Awaiting with bated breath the shock horror quote from Doreen, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

  11. Rename it bigot and breakfast and we’ll all stay away .

    1. Ha… true! if we can have numerous star, or AAA ratings for hospitality let’s have a BBB designation!

      1. Who’d want a bigot with their breakfast? A biscuit? Yes. A bagel, yes perhaps… but a bigot, nah… not very tasty… they’re a bit chew[s]y so I hear…..

  12. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 2:54pm

    One thing that happened in the other case is that interested parties and elements of the press quickly started misrepresenting facts in the case to win sympathy for the losers. Is there a link to the judgement so that we can see the findings of fact by the judge?

  13. You simply cannot allow people to excuse themselves from the law of the land based on their beliefs. The outcome of such a ruling would be absolute legal carnage.

    As a layman I can see this – it is absolutely obvious. What is to stop me asserting my belief in ANYTHING – something which can be neither measured nor proven sincere – as a justification to disregard legislation?

    Any precedent that places mutable and optional “belief” as sovereign to the rule of law would be a disaster.

    1. Absolutely – it’d open the door to all kinds of hate. People could claim to have a deep belief about certain races, a particular gender, disabled people, etc etc and refuse to serve them or use their belief to defend themselves against accusations and try to get an exemption from the law as all these ‘christians’ are doing.

      What they’re too stupid to realise is that the law protects them too. They don’t have to worry about being refused service in shops or hotels simply because of their religion. I think they don’t see that because they’re blinded by their burning desire to win special exemptions for religion so it can discriminate to its heart’s content. They also want Christianity to be crowned top above everyone else’s rights. That’s why they mustn’t win.

      1. That There Other David 18 Oct 2012, 5:46pm

        It would even go beyond equality legislation. What would be to stop someone saying they believed they were allowed to drive a packed school bus after downing 10 pints of lager?

        I know that’s the same thin end of the wedge logic they like to use, but you can see how this game of legal exemptions could be turned to any use. Same law for everyone is the only way the law works at all.

    2. The Church of Savile and Glitter?

  14. Can someone please tell me why these cases even have to go to court. If a law is broken then surely those who break the law should be charged and or arrested. why is it always on the onus of those discriminated against to take those who break the law to court. Surely it has to be a police matter. I mean, the law is unequivocal on this matter.
    On another point, Wilkinson, the one who was found guilty of discrimination, is now moaning that she’s been subject to vile abuse and death threats from gay activists. Why hasn’t she told the police who seem to catch culprits of such messages rather swiftly? Or is she bearing false witness?

    1. This is civil law and not criminal law.

    2. I also suspect that she is claiming to have had vile abuse/death threats in order to try to gain sympathy.

      I do not believe for one moment that members of the LGBT community would waste their time issuing those kinds of emails, we have far more fabulous things to do!

      On a serious note, those who do issue those kinds of things are normally internet troll who are not part of our community.

  15. Good these people are providing a service which should be available to all gay black yellow aliens thats what the law states.

    All these church people are the same making out there so caring and helping the poor etc load of old rubbish.

    1. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 3:47pm

      Fortunately they are not all the same. Many consider turning away a gay couple in this way decidedly unchristian.

  16. I have an insatiable desire to drive up and down that road very slowly where the B&B is, playing a few carefully selected songs, might even deck the car out in a stonewall SPAGGOI poster.

    But no… I have better things to do with my time. They’ll only run off and start crying, claiming THEY have been victimised.

    Just like the Bulls, always the first to try and claim THEY have been victimised, when THEY themselves victimised others.

    Think I’ll go and listen to Tarzan Boy now……

    1. A double decker passes my home several times a day. A Stonewall ad bedecks the side of it in huge letters “Some people are gay. Get over it”. I look out for it, it must drive certain of my neighbours crazy!
      Wish I could park it in sight of that B & B (on my private land)

      1. Great idea. Someone ask TfL if we can borrow a bus… mind you, Uxbridge isn’t too far from Maidenhead, perhaps we could just get the route extended, just for a day?

  17. It might be significant that the B&B doesn’t say guests must be married. I think they are worried that marriage equality will (eventually) prevent them from using that excuse.

    If they could, I think, they’d like to put a message in their window (and on their website) saying “NO GAYS”

    1. As far as I can see the B&B’s nice website has absolutely no indication that anyone – or any couple – is unwelcome. They had no leg to stand on.

  18. Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill welcomed the verdict and said:

    “This judgement vindicates Stonewall’s hard work to make sure businesses can’t turn people away simply because they happen to be gay.

    “It’s a shame tens of thousands of pounds have been wasted reiterating this well-established principle, when any good Christian would surely prefer to have seen that money spent on relieving poverty or tackling hunger.”

    I wish Christians would take note of this… if the hate groups like CI etc want to waste money funding pointless un-winnable cases, then fine… get on with it.. but I do agree that they could use the money they have, to fund other more pressing issues globally.

    Once these crackpots listen and realise…..

  19. Perhaps if the Wilkinsons were to advertise their B&B as “A home from home where Christian values are upheld”

    The certainly wouldn’t break any trades description laws….but would instead “appropriately” have a “target market” atheist or people of other faith, GBLT and the “I don’t think so!” would stay away in droves! call it an $ equity law!

    1. Why the negative votes?

      I am not supporting the Wilkinson family… but appropriately pointing out that if they advertise what they argued in court it would deter clientele and bankrupt them.

      What would you rather them do…keep misrepresenting their business and make money dishonorably?

    2. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 4:45pm

      There is no consensus on what Christian values are, which is why there are now hundreds of different denominations, and there have been horrific wars between different sects, each believing that the other is wrong. The current (retiring) Archbishop of Canterbury has stated that he doesn’t believe that a loving, faithful relationship between two gay people is sinful.

      1. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 5:10pm

        “the absolute condemnation of same-sex relations of intimacy must rely either on an abstract fundamentalist deployment of a number of very ambiguous texts, or on a problematic and non-scriptural theory about natural complementarity, applied narrowly and crudely to physical differentiation without regard to psychological structures” Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, in “The Body’s Grace”, 1989.

        1. Wordy, but he’s saying the Bible is a bit dodgy as evidence, and the other argument is two people of the same sex cannot conceive a baby. Sir Humphrey would be so proud!

  20. From the website of the B&B: ‘A warm & friendly welcome awaits all guests at Susanne Wilkinson’s Swiss Bed & Breakfast in the idyllic village of Cookham, near Maidenhead in Berkshire.’

    I don’t call excluding people a warm and friendly welcome, unless that, Suzanne is your idea of a warm and friendly welcome. Please do enlighten me as to how you would treat an Indian family who chose to stay at your B&B? Chuck them in the swimming pool perhaps? What about a Romanian family? Would you get them cleaning the place up and pay them 20p an hour?

    And you’re supposed to be ‘warm and friendly’…. I dread to think of the poison you are teaching your children too….

    What evil people you are.

    1. Spanner1960 18 Oct 2012, 9:27pm

      Deluded yes. Evil? I think that’s rather over judgemental.

  21. i would have asked if it was a christian owned B&B before I even considered staying there. Freedom to deny lifestyle definately works two ways and people like that do not get my money or time of day.

    1. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 6:50pm

      These days we should be able to live without the fear that someone maybe prejudiced against us and turn us away when we book a hotel, or any other service.

      It has nothing to do with “being Christian” since many, probably most, are happy to accommodate gay people. The question you would have to ask is do you accept bookings from gay couples, (or Hindu couples, blacks, Irish etc., according to which minority you belong), and having to ask that is demeaning.

      1. And illegal, if the answer is “no”. Does anyone know if refusing unmarried couples is a breach of the Equality Act 2010. It is certainly against the spirit of the Act….

        1. No, in English law “discrimination on grounds of marital status” only applies to discrimination against those who are married, or who one is married to. There is no protection for the single or the unmarried. In international law the UK is bound to protect people from discrimination on grounds of marital status, but most countries define that as meaning whether one is single, unmarried, divorced, widowed, separated, engaged, or married. It is a big gap.

          But there is protection for a gay couple under sexual orientation because they cannot marry, of course.

          1. Oh, the protection for married couples also includes CPs.

  22. “Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “This idea that you can set up a business in your own home and then disregard the law is one that is common among Christians. You don’t normally charge visitors who stay with you as friends or invited guests. Does she also expect to be exempt from health and safety laws, hygiene regulations and so on?”
    Mr Sanderson said that anyone who runs a business open to the public must obey the law, wherever that business is conducted. He commented: “I don’t think these complaining Christians have any idea of how humiliating it is to be turned away in such a manner from a service that is available to everyone else. What if someone opened as Bed and Breakfast and decided it was against their religion to have Christians in the house – would they be happy with that?””

  23. If you want a laugh (and you do!) pop over to the christian Institute’s Facebook page and marvel at the frothing fury there.

    Pay particular attention to a chap called Gavin, who has to be the biggest gonad going! I love the way he’s leading an attack on his own people! :)

    1. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 5:31pm

      Omg, you’re right. I particularly like this guy’s paranoid ramble:

      ” then they’ll be pushing to redefine family, removing the role of parents. Don’t be naive peeps, the ppl behind gaytheism are communists who are looking to destroy and destabilise society so it is easier to introduce a new political system; it’s been done before”

    2. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 5:35pm

      Did you also notice that the incredibly homophobic Gavin has a cover photo of the rather homoerotic Arrow?

    3. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 6:04pm

      Here’s another amazing comment:

      “Are you telling me YOU know persecution??? Unlike you I’m not assuming you don’t. You seem to be unaware that 80 percent of all physical attacks throughout the whole of europe are carried out on/against Christians. So again your data is leading you to be guilty of the Fallacies of impatient impusle of believe brought on by negative association. Both are fallacious arguments.”

      80% of physical attacks in Europe are against Christians? What planet are some of these people living on?

      1. Cardinal

        I have no idea what these people are smoking. Whatever it is, it’s made the hyper-paranoid. I’d intended to click the “report” button on FB, but they are so busy hating themselves, I thought I’d leave them to it! :)


  24. Cardinal Capone 18 Oct 2012, 5:10pm

    There is no consensus that Gay relationships are contrary to Christian beliefs :
    “the absolute condemnation of same-sex relations of intimacy must rely either on an abstract fundamentalist deployment of a number of very ambiguous texts, or on a problematic and non-scriptural theory about natural complementarity, applied narrowly and crudely to physical differentiation without regard to psychological structures” Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, in “The Body’s Grace”, 1989.

  25. Jim Nashville 18 Oct 2012, 5:17pm

    The judge accepted that Mrs Wilkinson was genuine about her Christian beliefs and had also stopped unmarried heterosexual couples from sharing a double bed.
    so her problem was . she turned them away because they are gay . if she had said sorry we dont allow unmarried couples to share a bed in our Christian home. then the equality law wouldnt have been used to rule against her

    1. Yes, but she also admitted that she made no checks whatsoever on opposite sex couples who said they were married. It seems like she baulked at these two people simply because they were both men.

    2. Marital status is a protected status according to the law, like sexuality, pregnancy, gender, disability, and of course race. There has not been a test case to my knowledge, the problem being that it is obvious if a couple are black or gay, but anyone can wear a ring!

  26. casparthegood 18 Oct 2012, 5:29pm

    that’s made my day

  27. ...Paddyswurds 18 Oct 2012, 5:55pm

    This is brilliant news although i don’t think we expected any other verdict. The law is the law and the soonest these bigots get with it the better for their own pocket books. Just had a peek at the CI facebook page and the ignorance defies belief. i find it hard to believe that so m any people could possibly be so ignorant , firstly of their own rule book the buybul, and secondly of the law. I am so glad we don’t live in a theist state; can you just imagine if these people had power?!

    1. I think the Case of the Chymorvah Bulls[h!tters] probably swayed the judge to arrive at the conclusion he did. Anything else would have opened the doors to a most agreeable case of preferential treatment.

      We must watch both cases carefully now to see how they progress. Most probably the CI will fund the Wilko’s case to the ECHR as well.

  28. Odious scrote Nick Griffin published the address of the gay couple on Twitter and said “A British Justice team will come up to Huntingdon and give you a bit of drama.”

    I wonder if the B & B owners are pleased with the quality of endorsement they are receiving (oh, and Griffin had better get his collar felt).

  29. Nick Griffin has, within the hour, Tweeted the home address of the couple involved in this story, saying “A British Justice team will come up and give you a …”

    1. …..and also, rather alarmingly, “We are not just against them, we are looking for the judge as well – (s)he’s a bloody fool.”

      An MEP threatening a judge?!?!

  30. Some Christians are absolutely obsessed with sex – way beyond mere prurience!
    Two gay men share a bed, therefore they must be shagging?
    I don’t know whether to be offended or proud!

  31. Have you heard that the scumbag Nick Griffin of the BNP has published the home address of this gay couple on his Twitter account and threatened them.

    Can he be arrested for this?

    I hope so.

    1. ...Paddyswurds 18 Oct 2012, 7:02pm

      Is this the BNP who are supposedly sooo gay friendly that the have a “GLBT” branch… ?

    2. Dave North 18 Oct 2012, 7:04pm

      The tweets are a possible breach of the Communications Act 2003, which find a person guilty of an offence if they send an electronic message of “an indecent, obscene or menacing character”.

      1. Publishing the home address of someone and inviting a mob to deliver some ‘British justice’ would appear to be an incitement to violence.

        After the London riots last year several people were jailed for encouraging mob violence.

        Seems only fair that Griffin be tried, and if found guilty, then jailed.

        1. Dave North 18 Oct 2012, 7:24pm

          In essence what Griffin was saying is, “I’m sending the boyz round”…..

          The is clearly incitement to violence or at the very least, intimidation.

        2. Yes, Nick Griffin needs to be arrested charged and banged up in prison for a while for this seriously threatening breach of privacy.

          1. Spanner1960 18 Oct 2012, 9:29pm

            I very much doubt it.
            This matter has been through the civil courts, so the addresses of both litigants is publicly available.

          2. A leader of an extreme right party Inciting a ‘demonstration’ to deliver ‘British justice’ outside a private home is not a civil matter.

            What he said in his tweet went beyond condemning a verdict.

            We all saw how those people who encouraged people to congregate in looting areas during the riots last year were treated – they were jailed.

            I suspect the criminal justice system will view Griffin’s tweet in the same manner.

  32. I heard Mr Black and Mr Morgan being interviewed on the 5.30pm news and they came across very well. They’re giving their profits to Oxfam, they said. They also made it clear that it was nothing personal against the Wilkinsons and how shocked they were that such a thing could happen in the 21st century.

    Regarding the disgusting Griffin tweet, they said they’d ask the police for advice about it.

  33. What trouble makers poofs are! Do you ever do anything useful for society? Vindictive snakes not content to win put punish – your time will come.

  34. Good!

  35. “It’s a shame tens of thousands of pounds have been wasted reiterating this well-established principle, when any good Christian would surely prefer to have seen that money spent on relieving poverty or tackling hunger.”

    Exactly this. Think of what they could do in terms of poverty if they just kept themselves out of other peoples’ bedrooms…

  36. Respect for differences is more important than equal treatment.

  37. I am very sorry. But this is just ridiculous. Britain is turning into the US for taking people to court over silly little things. So what if they refused them to allow to access a double room? Why did they ake such a fuss over such a petty little thing. This is what is giving us gays a bad name…that and bloody marriage…urgh

    1. Did you actually get the point of this? As you said, “This is giving us gays a bad name…” We’re talking about discrimination here! I am sure that you wouldn’t want to have a booking at B & B and find that you weren’t welcome because you were gay?

      ” Why did they ake such a fuss over such a petty little thing”… The fuss was made because, gays and lesbians have had to fight for their rights! I’m sure from your post that you’d allow any bigot to walk all over you.

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