'Christianity attacked' – hotel loses appeal
CHRISTIAN guesthouse owners who refused to let a gay couple share a double bedroom at their hotel in Marazion said they were "disappointed" after losing their appeal against a High Court ruling.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull claim they have been the victim of hate campaigns, have been forced to shut their business and have lost thousands of pounds since the case began more than three years ago.
The couple, who run the Chymorvah Private Hotel, say they are now planning to convert their hotel to a Christian rest centre and are waiting for a Charities Commission ruling on their plans.
The Bulls were ordered to pay £3,600 after losing a legal battle against civil partners Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall, from Bristol, who had booked to stay at their hotel in September 2008.
Free DT333 System Phone with all New NCP Panasonic Business...View details
Make Sure Your Business In Cornwall Chooses The Correct Business Telephone System At The Most Competitive Price.
Approved Panasonic Telecommunications Installer.
Terms: Terms: Please Quote This Genuine Offer When Booking An Appointment With Your Telecommunication Engineer. We Also Offer A Demonstration Of The Proposed System Please Ask For This Free Service
Contact: 01726 213808
Valid until: Monday, March 31 2014
The Marazion couple appealed against the decision, arguing they had the human right to bar unmarried couples from sharing a double bedroom, in line with their beliefs. They denied discriminating against Mr Hall and Mr Preddy, stating that they believed all sex outside marriage was a sin.
But Sir Andrew Morritt, Chancellor of the High Court, Lord Justice Hooper and Lady Justice Rafferty, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, last week rejected their plea.
Mr and Mrs Bull did not attend the appeal verdict last week, but Mr Bull told The Cornishman afterwards: "The only thing that we can really say is that we are disappointed that we cannot run our guesthouse as we wish.
"We are trying to become a Christian rest centre, a charity, and in that way our biblical beliefs can be part of what we do for people who want to come here. They will have to abide by our rules.
"We don't have freedom of speech any more. Christianity is under attack."
The Christian Institute has provided legal and financial support for the Bulls' appeal, which took place more than a year after the original court decision in the case.
After the ruling, Simon Calvert, from The Christian Institute, said: "[They] have been penalised for their beliefs. A lot of people will think it is shame the law doesn't let them live and work according to their own values under their own roof."
What do you think? Should guesthouse owners be allowed to refuse gay couples? Vote in our poll to the right of this article.