Christian B&B owners win right to appeal to Supreme Court
A Christian couple who were fined because of their ‘marrieds only’ policy for double rooms at their guest house in Cornwall have won permission to take their case to the Supreme Court.
Earlier this year the Court of Appeal upheld the verdict that Peter and Hazelmary Bull had breached equality legislation and discriminated against Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy after refusing them a double room due to their ‘marrieds only’ policy for double rooms.
The Bulls denied that they had discriminated against the couple, saying that they had also barred unmarried heterosexual couples from sharing double rooms since they opened for business 25 years ago.
They denied either direct or indirect discrimination, arguing that their double beds policy was in accordance with their religious beliefs and was not directed to sexual orientation, but sexual practices.
Mr Hall and Mr Preddy were awarded a total of £3,600 damages. Now the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, has decided to hear their case, and may overturn the decision of the Court of Appeal.
Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, which funded Mr and Mrs Bull's appeal, said:
“Not everyone will agree with Peter and Hazelmary’s beliefs, but a lot of people will think it is shame that the law doesn’t let them live and work according to their own values under their own roof.
"Something has gone badly wrong with our equality laws when good, decent people like Peter and Hazelmary are penalised but extremist hate preachers are protected."
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:
“This case is one of many where the judiciary have severely restricted freedom of religion in favour of homosexual ‘rights’.
“If same-sex marriage is legislated for then unfortunately there will be many more cases like this.”