Christian hotel owners who refused gay couple to appeal to the Supreme Court
15 Wednesday Aug 2012
Peter and Hazelmary Bull, a couple who refused to allow a same-sex couple to sleep in a double room in their hotel, have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
They seek to overturn a judgment that they had directly discriminated against the respondent gay couple by turning them away from their hotel. The appellants had accepted a room booking from the second respondent, assuming he would be bringing his wife. They then refused to honour his booking for a double room when he arrived with his civil partner, stating their objections to sexual activity outside of marriage.
The Court of Appeal () held that their belief that any sexual relations (heterosexual or homosexual) outside of marriage were sinful was genuinely held, and that they were entitled to hold that belief but not manifest it in the commercial context they had chosen. Their argument that they had not discriminated against the respondents on grounds of sexual orientation as their policy of restricting double beds to married couples was not directed at sexual orientation was rejected, with the judgment stating that homosexual couples cannot comply with the restriction because they cannot marry.