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UK: Anti-gay Christian B&B owner loses latest appeal

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  1. That There Other David 9 Jul 2013, 12:03pm

    Great. They all hit the Courts of Justice at the same time.

    All together now. “Let’s all go down The Strand”.

    Although I suspect these super-uptight Christian types might object to the banana lyric ;-)

    1. de Villiers 10 Jul 2013, 8:51am

      Has anyone read this judgment? It is far less favourable then people here consider.

      First, the Court of Appeal decided that the previous case, involving Preddy, was wrong. That case decided that this type of behaviour was direct discrimination which could not be justified. Here, the Court of Appeal said it had reached the wrong decision earlier and that such behaviour could be justified.

      It then said that the gay rights would have to be balanced against the religious rights and that the gay rights would not always be successful. At paragraph 72:

      “Accordingly, even though the defence of justification has to be approached in the context of the Regulations, and on the basis that the regulations are Convention- compliant, it would be wrong to conclude that there are no circumstances where the defence of justification might not apply in the context of reliance on manifestation of religious beliefs.”

  2. So would any Christians like to point to the bit in the bible where Jesus teaches you to squander thousands of pounds on court cases you won’t win to try and enshrine your personal interpretation of the assumed wishes of a bronze age supernatural entity in law?

    …I didn’t think so.

    It would be intellectually dishonest to say that anti-LGBT animus was a core principle of Christianity (although it is tempting to do so sometimes) and it is core principles, that are widely shared and well understood with dogmatic underpinning, that tend to be protected by law (which is why, for example, no woman can sue the Catholic church for not being allowed into the priesthood).

    Allowing a precedent based on personal interpretation rather than widely accepted understanding is an invitation to legal carnage – since anyone could claim anything and their faith can be neither tested not proven sincere.

  3. It seems the proprietor claimed to have stopped unmarried heterosexuals from sharing a bed, but there is a TripAdvisor review from a woman who stayed in a double room with her boyfriend!

    1. bobbleobble 9 Jul 2013, 12:47pm

      When the case was first heard she stated that she had turned unmarried straight couples away but only if they turned up in the morning. If a straight unmarried couple turned up in the evening then they were allowed to stay. This gay couple also turned up in the evening and were sent away. So she treated a gay couple and a straight couple differently.

      In effect what she is claiming is that because she turned SOME straight couples away that entitled her to turn ALL gay couples away. So far the courts have told her that she was wrong to do so.

  4. “A warm & friendly welcome awaits all guests at Susanne Wilkinson’s Swiss Bed & Breakfast in the idyllic village of Cookham…This Swiss-English family offers first class hospitality in their spacious & comfortable home” (taken from their own website).

    Assuming you share their heteronormative bigoted views enshrined in and clouded by an archaic belief system based on judging others. Blinded by your narrow minded teachings I think, maybe it’s time to wake up and realise you are out of touch with the overwhelming majority of society. Believe what you wish, think what you like but do not insist on using them to discriminate against others. Where is the love and acceptance your bible talks of ?

  5. Beelzeebub 9 Jul 2013, 12:29pm

    On another site she says “Because I am a Christian, I believe that monogamous heterosexual marriage is the form of partnership uniquely intended for sexual relations between persons and that homosexual relations – as opposed to homosexual orientation – and heterosexual relations outside marriage are wrong.”

    It will be Interesting to see what she will do when a legally MARRIED gay couple turn up at her door.

    Then her TRUE intentions will be exposed.

    1. or she will melt – screaming ‘my world, my world’

  6. The judges should have refused her permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

    The Equality Act is quite clear in that it is illegal to refuse goods and services based on sexual orientation.

    This woman has broken the law and should be dealt with accordingly.

    1. She didn’t refuse goods and services “based on sexual orientation”. The two men involved might have been heterosexual and they still would have been refused.

      Not for the first time, people confuse the person with the BEHAVIOUR. If I have a no-alcohol rule in my hotel and you turn up with a bottle of wine to drink in your room and I refuse to let you stay, then I’m not discriminating against you based on your “alcohol orientation”; I’m simply refusing to allow you to engage in a certain type of BEHAVIOUR in the hotel.

      1. The point is, she refused them service on perceived sexual orientation, which is still illegal.

        If you run a hotel or a B&B then you have to obey the laws of the land, not the ‘rules’ of some out dated, fictitious dogma.

        1. No, it wasn’t “perceived sexual orientation” either. The owners of the hotel didn’t enquire into, or make any assumptions about, the men’s sexual orientation. They simply said that they do not allow non-marital sexual activity in their hotel.

          1. Bobbleobble 9 Jul 2013, 3:04pm

            Of course they made an assumption about their sexual orientation otherwise there was no reason to turn the men away. Straight men don’t tend to get up to non-marital sexual activity and nor do they book double rooms in b&bs. Your arguments are very bizarre.

            It also doesn’t change the woman’s hypocrisy. She didn’t have a blanket policy of turning all non-married couples away, only those who showed up in the mornings. So as it turns out she does allow non-marital sexual activity in her hotel, just not if the unmarried couple are both men. So either she’s discriminating on grounds of sexuality or of gender but either way she’s discriminating.

      2. That’s not a very good analogy. There is no such thing as an “alcohol orientation”. For a start drinking alcohol is a choice not an orientation, if it was an orientation then these people would only drink alcohol and nothing else. By shouting BEHAVIOUR the way you have, you are implying that two men being together is a choice which is totally wrong. Simply slapping words together does not make it true.

        The law is very clear that if you run a business, the business cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation. Her action against the men caused the business to discriminate on that basis. She was wrong in what she did and the courts keep telling these increadibly thick people the same thing.

        1. The analogy is entirely valid. Drinking alcohol and engaging in sexual behaviour are both matters of free choice.

          It doesn’t matter whether the men were “together” or not, and it doesn’t matter what their “sexual orientation” is. It’s nobody’s business. The owners of the hotel simply said that they do not allow non-marital sexual BEHAVIOUR in their hotel. Sorry about the shouting, but I find that people on this site often do not get this point.

          1. Beelzeebub 9 Jul 2013, 3:04pm

            So you empathetically know that she checks everyone’s marriage certificates when they check in.?

            I don’t think so.

            She would not be in business long if she did that.

            Anyway, isn’t it a bit perverted of her to pry in to other peoples sexual activity.

          2. She had no idea if they were going to have sex. Did she ask them before turning them away? No, of course not. They asked for a double room, she deduced they were gay – and so turned them away for that reason.

            Apart from that – it’s none of her business. She’s there to provide hospitality and breakfast, not police people’s sex lives and make assumptions about them. It’s intrusive, obsessive and downright creepy.

          3. John, there are so many examples of why you are wrong on here but like anything, if you don’t want to hear the truth you won’t.

      3. Ladies and Gents, the Dunning-Kruger effect – In which an unskilled and ignorant individual tries to assert insight and authority while possessing neither.

        You do not know what you are talking about, you don’t understand the law or its applications, and your attempt to try and establish analogous examples are embarrassing.

        1. The analogy is a valid one. The owners of the hotel should have the right to impose certain restrictions on BEHAVIOUR in their hotel. The restriction in this case was, no non-marital sex. In another hotel it might be, no alcohol. Or, no watching or pornography. In a pub, the rule might be, no swearing. In a restaurant, the rule might be, no jeans and trainers. In a gay-run hotel, the rule might be, no heterosexual sex!

          These are all restrictions on BEHAVIOUR. Don’t like them? Go and stay somewhere else.

          1. bobbleobble 9 Jul 2013, 3:09pm

            She may have imposed restrictions on behaviour but the point is that she applied those restrictions in a discriminatory way. She didn’t turn away unmarried straight couples who turned up in the evening but she did turn away an unmarried gay couple who turned up in the evening. And that is why she lost her case.

          2. Well then, off you toddle, get yourself in the phone to the Christian Institute and tell them that you’ve solved their knotty little problem. I’m sure that they will be just THRILLED to hear from you (or, more likely, think you to be nothing but a clueless boob).

          3. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jul 2013, 3:48pm

            Hasn’t it occurred to you why she doesn’t advertise her B&B for married heteros only? Why do you think she hasn’t? If it were a gay run BB, they’d be shut down if they blatantly displayed a sign refusing service to hetero unmarried couples. Why do you insist on acting the apologist for the religious loon? So by your analogy, religious nutters should have special privileges above and beyond the rest of us and not subject to the laws of the land?

          4. So if she turned away an interracial couple she could claim that it wasn’t anything to do with their race, it was just because she didn’t believe two people from different races should have sex? Yeah, I can see that going down a storm.

            When did god make Mrs Wilkinson his/her policewoman? She should see to her own life and live it as she sees fit, and allow others the same privilege. And – she should obey the law!

          5. Are you aware that they had already accepted a deposit? Can you specify when and where, before arrival, the restrictions were made to the customers?

            No, thought not.

      4. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jul 2013, 3:42pm

        How many straight men travel together in twos and share a bedroom? How common is it? You’re delusional just like the idiot who lost her appeal. Why doesn’t she advertise her BB for married heteros only? She doesn’t and you know very well why, because it’s illegal. Hers is a public business and is subject to the Equalities Act in the delivery of goods and services. Her home is not a church either.

      5. That There Other David 9 Jul 2013, 5:24pm

        You see, this is in an interesting insight into how both you and Mrs. Wilkinson think. How do either of you know what the two men were planning to do in that bed? Could it be, and I know this will probably be so much of a stretch on your imagination your head might actually explode, that they might have been planning to sleep?

        You need to go get yourself a partner John, either sex will do. It’ll stop you obsessing about what other people may or may not be up to.

      6. The two men involved might have been heterosexual and they still would have been refused.


        Speaking of missing the point (as you have, above), are you completely insane? And since when have you been a spokesperson for the B&B owner?

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jul 2013, 12:59pm

    Even if the Supreme Court were to rule in her favour which I doubt, why would any future gay couple, CPd or married want to stay in a place run by religious nutters who clearly don’t want any of us sleeping under her roof? Why stay where you’re not welcome?

    Wait for the right wing religious loons to make more hay out of this one now that the Marriage Bill is in its end stages.

    1. de Villiers 10 Jul 2013, 8:52am

      I do not doubt it – the judges have invited the Supreme Court to uphold it on the ground of direct discrimination.

  8. GulliverUK 9 Jul 2013, 1:04pm

    The Equality Act is very clear about the provision of goods and services, and nobody has any rights to discriminate — it doesn’t matter if they believe in the Christian god, Hindu god, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Again, this is the Christian Institute pushing this, paying the legal fees, a registered charity, and attempting to circumvent the clear will of the UK Parliament by creating case law in the hope of implementing an exception.

    They will fail at the Supreme Court also. In the meanwhile their actions damage all B&Bs because you never know when you book if you’re going to be the next victim, and thus it’ll put off people booking with B&Bs and small hotels who may have … funny ideas… about who is and isn’t eligible to stay there.

    1. Totally agree Gulliver, B&B’s need to advertise if they have these silly rules up front so we can choose with our feet.

      I guaranteee to you that most straight people would not stay in these places either because they just look so unfriendly.

  9. I’d love for us to team up and make (fictional) bookings at each and every accomodation as a gay/lesbian/trans individual/couple/with children and see how we are treated. Have a list somewhere what places welcome us and perhaps pursue legal action at once towards all the other places. Settle this nonsense once and for all. And also inform our straight friends where they shouldn’t want to stay…

  10. What ‘Christian’ Anti human group is paying for all these appeals – It sure as hell isn’t a woman who makes a living from B&B – given all her high ‘moral’ standards on same sex and unmarried couples?

  11. I don’t understand why these people are allowed to continue with an appeal – they broke the law by discriminating – what do they not understand?

    Out of interest who is backing these people for the legal cost -can only hope they are paying and stand to loose everything at the end of the court case

  12. I really hope they keep pursuing this until they are broke.

    1. Beelzeebub 9 Jul 2013, 3:07pm

      They won’t be.

      They have an unlimited supply of funds from the so called “christian Institute” who’s motto seems to be “Stuff the poor and christian charity, we demand the right to discriminate”

    1. de Villiers 10 Jul 2013, 8:54am

      It is not an excellent write-up. It fails to mention that although the judges said that the case of Preddy was indistinguishable, they also said that Preddy was wrongly decided.

  13. Go feed the poor with your money…pathetic fools….

  14. They’d be allowed to discriminate based on marital status?

    1. Maybe I should explain – the way I see it it could be a possible implication if she didn’t treat gay couples any “less favourably than she would have treated an unmarried heterosexual couple in the same circumstances”. Would it be legal to discriminate based on marital status then? That did seem to be her defence. I wouldn’t think it would be, but if it isn’t then why the comparison to unmarried heterosexual couples as though if she did it to everyone that’d be alright? That or I’ve read into it the wrong way…

  15. I really don’t understand why people who are so concerned about what people get up to in bed choose to run a business providing beds for people to get up to stuff in.

  16. Are these jokers still messing about? It really is so simple: belief doesn’t put you above the law.

    1. de Villiers 10 Jul 2013, 8:55am

      That is not what the judges said – look at paragraph 72 of the judgment:

      “Accordingly, even though the defence of justification has to be approached in the context of the Regulations, and on the basis that the regulations are Convention- compliant, it would be wrong to conclude that there are no circumstances where the defence of justification might not apply in the context of reliance on manifestation of religious beliefs.”

  17. I know i’m gonna get flamed for this, and while I think its ridiculous that the legal proceedings are going ahead like this (it isn’t worth the money at all) I have to say that honestly and respectfully, its not a hotel, its a guest house and the rules ARE different. Whether they should be in THAT business is a separate question but they DO have the right to be picky about who they let sleep under their roof. I can’t agree with their blatant discrimination, but I have to respect that it WAS their choice and they executed that choice.

    Part and parcel of the freedoms we enjoy as a people is being able to dispute anothers choice, but nothing revokes that freedom to choose and while this is a sad case, that freedom causes more good than harm IMHO.

    1. bobbleobble 11 Jul 2013, 5:19pm

      I don’t think you can separate the question of whether they should be in that business out from this. Guest houses really aren’t all that different from hotels and bear in mind that once it becomes a guest house it stops being their home and becomes a place of business and different rules apply. Guest houses are not excluded from equalities legislation for race or gender so why should they be for sexuality? If they can’t cope with the idea that people staying in their guest house may get up to things they’re not comfortable with, including straight people, then they are definitely in the wrong business.

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