Court reserves judgment on B&B gay row
A Christian couple who run a guesthouse in West Cornwall face an anxious wait after concluding a last ditch bid to win their case in front of the UK's highest court.
Peter Bull, 73, and his wife Hazelmary, 69, asked the Supreme Court to decide whether their decision to refuse to let Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy stay in a double room constituted sex discrimination under equality legislation.
Five Supreme Court justices reserved judgment yesterday after a hearing which began in London the previous day.
This means that their judgement, which is final, will be delivered at a later date.
Fantastic offer at Swanson Ford, Newton Abbot. 3 Years FREE Servicing and 5 Years Warranty available on your BRAND NEW FORD FIESTA with the AWARD WINNING ECOBOOST ENGINE!!!
Terms: Limited stock available. Only whilst stock lasts
Contact: 01626 240583
Valid until: Tuesday, December 24 2013
The couple, who run a guest house in Marazion, Cornwall, have already lost fights in a county court and the Court of Appeal.
In 2011 a judge concluded that the Bulls acted unlawfully and ordered them to pay a total of £3,600 damages after a hearing at Bristol County Court.
In 2012 the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the Bulls following a hearing in London.
The couple, who say they have simply striven "to keep their consciences clear before God," want the Supreme Court to overrule the Court of Appeal.
The Bulls say they think that any sex outside marriage is "a sin" – and deny discrimination.
They say their decision was founded on a "religiously-informed judgment of conscience".
However, Mr Hall and Mr Preddy say they were victims of discrimination.
Robin Allen QC, who represented the two men, told the Supreme Court: "They have lived a life for many years as two gay men in an established, long-term and committed relationship.
"They have received less favourable treatment compared to an opposite-sex couple who are married."