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No Freedom of Belief for Christian Guesthouse Owners

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Issued by Christian Concern

Press Release

For immediate release

10 February 2012

 

No freedom of belief for Christian guesthouse owners

TWO Christian guesthouse owners have today lost their appeal against last year’s ruling which left them with a £3,600 fine for only letting married couples rent double-rooms in their guesthouse.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull were found to have discriminated after refusing a double-room to a non-married same-sex couple in 2008.

The Bulls appealed the decision, claiming that they had always restricted double-rooms to married couples in accordance with their Christian beliefs.

The Judge who gave them permission to appeal explained that his original ruling affected “the human rights of the defendants to manifest their religion and forces them to act in a manner contrary to their deeply and genuinely held beliefs.”

However, today the Court of Appeal upheld the original decision.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:

“This was the wrong decision. A number of judgments have now elevated sexual orientation rights above historic freedom of belief. This was never the intention of Parliament, and has no democratic mandate.

“Bed and breakfast owners have now become another category of people in the UK who will be penalised if they try to serve the public without compromising their religious beliefs.

“We are heading towards a two-tier society where only those who subscribe to this new state morality will be able to operate in the public sphere.

“With full homosexual marriage now on the horizon, protecting conscience will become more important than ever.”

ENDS

For further information / interview:

Andrea Minichiello Williams (CEO Christian Concern): 07712 591164

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