Scandal Christian couple forced to sell up Marazion B&B
THE CHRISTIAN couple at the centre of controversy after refusing to let a gay couple stay in a double room at their guesthouse say it is forcing them to sell up.
Hazelmary and Peter Bull, who run Chymorvah Hotel, Marazion, said they have no option but to sell their beloved home and business after failing to attract enough custom and having to find money for legal costs.
The Chymorvah, which allows only married couples to share a bed, has been unable to advertise and is no longer listed by Visit England since the Equalities Act was brought in in 2007.
In 2008 the couple had to pay £3,600 to civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy after they were refused a room at the hotel on religious grounds.
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Mrs Bull said they have now been forced to put the nine-bedroom property on the market.
"We were optimistic in the spring. Why wouldn't we be with the summer ahead of us? We have had a better summer than we thought but nowhere near good enough to pay our way," said Mrs Bull.
"We were not even half-full. We must have been the only place in west Cornwall that had rooms left."
Since the controversy, the couple have faced a string of vandalism. They claim they have had the bolts removed from the wheels of their car and most recently found a dead rabbit nailed to their fence.
Despite death threats, vandalism and the hotel website being corrupted with pornography, it is the financial pressure that is forcing them to sell.
"It was a gradual process; we just noticed more and more that we couldn't make the mortgage repayments. Last winter was terrible. We were actually shivering and were hungry," said Mrs Bull.
"We are coming towards next winter and dreading it. In 2013, two people who worked all their lives at this have ended up cold and hungry. It's not right."
The grade two listed property is on the market for £750,000 but Mrs Bull is concerned it will sell for less. She said they had not yet made any long-term plans because running a guesthouse was all they ever wanted to do.
She added: "This is like a death in the family. I never thought it would end like this.
"We are not facing the future with any real enthusiasm."
Earlier in the year the couple won the right to take their appeal to the Supreme Court next month after the case was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.