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Christian B&B owners receive support from gay people

PinkNews Staff Writer March 25, 2010

The Christian bed and breakfast owners who barred a gay couple from staying in their home say they have received messages of support from gay people.

Susannne and Mike Wilkinson, who own the Swiss B&B in Berskhire, hit the national news this week for turning away a gay couple who had booked a room.

Michael Black and John Morgan, from Brampton, Cambridgeshire, said they were “shocked” at the refusal and contacted police. They are considering whether to make a civil claim against the Wilkinsons.

Mr Wilkinson told the Bucks Free Press yesterday that although he and his wife had received some threats and hate mail, they had also received emails of support from people claiming to be gay.

He said: “Several are from gay people saying they apologise for the publicity-seeking gentlemen and don’t agree with that point of view and that we have the right who comes in to our home.”

The newspaper reported that one email said: “I am gay myself and know that there are certain people that I would not want in my home or do business with for that matter.”

Another said: “I fully accept your decision and saddened to see how you have been treated! But stick by what you believe in.”

Mr Black and Mr Morgan said today that they condemned the threats the Wilkinsons had received.

They said: “We’re horrified by, and totally condemn, the abuse and threats that the Wilkinsons have apparently received, and certainly haven’t had any hand in it.”

The couple also defended their right to take action against the B&B owners.

They said: “Of course they have the right to hold what beliefs they choose, and we haven’t criticised them for that. Our point all along has been that Mrs Wilkinson broke the law.

“That law governs behaviour, not beliefs. Running a B&B entails obeying the relevant laws and regulations, such as those concerning food hygiene, fire doors – and discrimination.

“Nobody, and no business, is above the law. It would be horrifying if doctors or firefighters decided on the basis of their religious beliefs which patients to treat, and which blazes to tackle.”

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