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‘Heterosexual friendly’ B&B calls the police after enquiry from PinkNews

Nick Duffy May 23, 2016

A B&B that describes its services as ‘heterosexual friendly’ has called the police – after PinkNews asked for clarification of its policies.

The Cromasaig B&B, which is based in the Scottish highlands, advertises itself using the term on its website.

It states that “1 Man + 1 Woman = Marriage”, and clarifies it is a “Family and Heterosexual Friendly B&B”.

After a reader contacted PinkNews alleging that Cromasaig turned away people who are gay, PinkNews asked the B&B owners to clarify their policy.

It is a violation of the UK-wide Equality Act to deny service on the basis of sexual orientation, but B&B owner Tom Forrest told PinkNews the policy “means precisely what it says”.

However, after being contacted by PinkNews, Mr Forrest called in the police and the local press alleging harassment from “gay activists”.

He told the Scottish Herald: “We received emails from same-sex couples looking for double rooms.

“We didn’t have anything available on the dates that some couples were looking for and that’s the truth.

“One man got back to me and said I had to provide him with my availability for the next three months. That’s just ridiculous. He was just being a nuisance.

“Since then we have been bombarded by offensive emails.”

He added: “Yet again, we’re being attacked by these people because we state we’re heterosexual friendly. I have asked the police for advice on how to handle this.”

PinkNews found negative reviews of the B&B dating back many years on Tripadvisor, with one complaining: “I was asked the name of my husband and dog. In my reply I advised I was coming with my civil partner (wife) and that we were married 4 years.

“I then received an email telling me to refrain from calling my partner my wife and that marriage was only between man and woman.”

Another states: “Whilst we were welcomed as a hetrosexual, married couple I was shocked to find an ‘anti-gay b&b’ cartoon placed in a frame alongside the breakfast cereal!

“I felt very uncomfortable at these so blatently promoted views, and illegal discrimination in place at this establishment.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland confirmed they had given “advice” in relation to emails.

Mr Forrest has previously claimed he would turn away gay couples.

He told STV in 2010: “I will refuse point blank to allow them to share a double bed. I do not approve of the homosexual act and any act of intercourse should be between a man and a woman. It’s nothing to do with the bible, it’s to do with nature.

“We’re not running a business for corporate guests. We have people into our house, we have dinner with them, we learn about each other. Many become friends.

“Indeed, there are homosexual people who have become friends, who say they would not insult us by insisting on sharing a bed in our house and come in support of what we have done.

“I feel it’s about time that people decided to live and let live. What you want to do under your own roof is your own business. What I want to happen under my own roof should also be my business.”

A long-running court case surrounding a Christian B&B wrapped up last year.

Civil partners Martin Hall and Steven Preddy, from Bristol, were turned away from the Chymorvah Hotel near Penzance in 2008 under the owners’ policy of not allowing unmarried couples to share rooms.

Judges twice ruled that Peter and Hazelmary Bull broke equality laws in the running of their business.

It was ruled that the Bulls’ behaviour amounted to direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, and awarded a total of £3,600 damages to Mr Hall and Mr Preddy.

The Bulls appealed to the Supreme Court with the help of anti-LGBT Christian charities – but again lost out.

 

More: Anti-gay, B&B, Equality Act, friendly, Gay, heterosexual, Scotland, Scotland, Scottish, sexuality

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