Gay couple wins discrimination appealAround the World Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
LONDON – The Equality and Human Rights Commission has successfully defended an appeal in the Court of Appeal against a ruling in the County Court which found that hotel owners had directly discriminated against a gay couple.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull, owners of the Chymorvah Hotel near Penzance, England appealed against the County Court’s decision that they were wrong to refuse Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy a double room for the night in their hotel. The owners said that their hotel rule, based on their Christian faith, was that no unmarried couples could share a double room.
The Court of Appeal agreed with the County Court that the hotel’s rule directly discriminated against civil partners Preddy and Hall. The couple were treated differently because of their sexual orientation as it is not possible for a gay couple to marry.
In the appeal ruling the judges noted that both sides recognized the strongly held views of the other, and the Commission went to great lengths to reassure the Bulls that their beliefs were not under question.
The judges took into consideration the fact that discrimination law had changed and that the Bulls had been running their hotel along Christian principles for decades.
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