Gay couple wins legal battle over double room

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LONDON - The owners of a hotel in Britain who refused a gay couple a double room acted unlawfully, a court has ruled.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Peter and Hazelmary Bull were breaking the law when they denied Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy a room at their hotel in Cornwall in September 2008, the ruling said.

Judge Andrew Rutherford made the ruling in a written judgment at Bristol County Court as he awarded the gay couple 1,800 pounds each in damages.

At an earlier hearing, Peter, 70, and his wife, 66, said their policy — operated since they bought the hotel in 1986 — is based on their beliefs about marriage and not a hostility to sexual orientation.

Hazelmary told the court: “We accept that the Bible is the holy living word of god and we endeavour to follow it as far as we are able.

“We have a kind of routine we go through with folk. It is never our intention to offend so we try to make it as gracious and as helpful as we can.”

James Dingemans, representing the Bulls, said they had been “vilified as objects of fun” in newspapers for only allowing married couples to stay in double rooms at their hotel.

He said: “The defendants respectfully submit that their policy is directed at sex and not to sexual orientation and is lawful.

“It was never the intention of the defendants to cause any upset or injury. They were just acting in accordance with their religious beliefs.”

Filed under: Immigration, World

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