GRASPING AT STRAWS

Homophobic B&B Owners Refuse To Back Down, Take Case To England’s Supreme Court

The Christian owners of a B&B in Cornwall, England who denied a room to a gay couple on religious grounds are now preparing to take their case to the Supreme Court.

Last month, Peter and Hazelmary Bull announced that they were being forced to sell their nine-bedroom B&B after crippling legal fees, bad PR and low occupancy left them “shivering” and “hungry.”

Their tale of woe dates all the way back to September 2008, when a judge ordered they pay £3,600 ($5,800) in damages to civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy after it was determined that their reasons for denying the men a room were invalid and discriminatory.

Their original appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, so Peter and Hazelmary Bull are now taking their battle to their highest court in the land on October 9.

The couple, who say they also refuse double beds to non-married heterosexual couples, have argued that their policy is in accordance with their religious beliefs and was not related to sexual orientation, but sexual practice.

(Evidently “civil partnerships” and “marriages” are two different things in their God-fearing eyes. We’ll be sure to remember that the next time opponents of marriage equality try suggesting otherwise.)

“We’re hoping that in some way or another a pathway will be found through this so that two different lifestyles — which at the moment have had a head-on collision — could live together in our society,” Hazelmary Bull said in an interview on Tuesday morning.

She also called the whole situation “thoroughly regretful.” Then she added: “We’re running this under our own roof, and our God demands that our faith doesn’t end at the kitchen door.”

“One would think that dealing with Christians, we would be fair and honest and upright and honorable and live according to the Bible,” she continued. “Because the Bible is the Christians’ textbook.”

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27 Comments

  • Dakotahgeo

    Yes, the Bible is God’s textbook but God does NOT DEMAND that believers use it as a BATTERING RAM or a WMD (weapon of mass destruction) against the rest of God’s children! Another Christian couple who are so earthly minded they are no heavenly good! Embarrassing and hypocritical to the extreme to other normal Christian persons!

  • Ron Jackson

    Yeah, lets use a fairy tale to rule all our lives. Silly humans.

  • Taliaferro

    “We’re running this under our own roof, and our God demands that our faith doesn’t end at the kitchen door.” Perhaps your faith does not end at the kitchen door, but your right to discriminate does when you open a business. Perhaps you could rent only to religious bigots such as yourselvess – and advertise that, perhaps even become a “church” to protect yourselves. On the other hand, you claim to have all this faith – does not your heavenly father reward that faith with food and heat? Could it be that your interpretation of Christianity is wrong?

  • Polaro

    40 years ago there were two ugly people like these two who refused to rent to blacks. Same story. Still as wrong. Still as ugly.

  • Whup-Ass Master

    Good ol’ Hazelmary Bull sure looks like the hostess with the mostess, don’t she? Dickens couldn’t have given her a better name.

  • PARKAVMAN

    Don’t they have any brains or did Jesus take those? Sell the place and be gone. Someone else can run it with dignity.

  • TheBigOne

    I wonder if she’s caught the hubby doing ‘something’ with their former gay guests..?

  • RevJames

    There are certain jobs not open to people from various faiths. IF your faith, by it’s very nature, precludes you from certain activities (like letting unmarried or non-hetro people sleep together in your house) then you can not chose a B&B as your profession. Plain and simple.

    Observant Catholics don’t operate abortion clinics, Conservative Muslims don’t open bars, Amish communities don’t operate Apple repair shops. It really is quite simple. Consider the parameters and demands of your faith and then CHOSE a suitable profession.

    Simple.

  • 2eo

    Their beliefs are invalid and discriminatory, and it is a wonderful thing for them to be destroyed by them.

  • Teleny

    Their beliefs are theirs (even though I find them wrong) to hold. But they cannot run a business and discriminate against anyone.

  • scotshot

    @RevJames: Nicely put.

  • Bozen

    You should all be ashamed of how ignorant you sound –

    If these people who own their own business don’t want to DO BUSINESS with you based on your sexual orientation, hair color, weight, -whatever-

    It is completely their choice.

    Homophobic?
    Maybe. I don’t know them personally so I couldn’t say.

    Are they the villains Queerty and you drama queens are making them out to be?
    No.

    If I owned a shop and didn’t like doing business with alcoholics or people taller than 5’6, it’d be my own damn choice and right.

    You can’t force them to “accept and support” you. You can only just move on. Jeeeesus

  • jimbryant

    So this so-called Christian couple will accept adulterers and those who fornicate outside of marriage, will they? So long as it’s heterosexual, it’s ok, is it?

  • jwrappaport

    @Bozen: Take your libertarian platitudes and pathetic strawmen elsewhere. At least in the United States, essentially any business open to the general public is forbidden from discriminating on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, religion, or national origin. There’s a reason for that: the “freedom” to discriminate on those bases, and I would argue many others, is destructive to a free society and should be proscribed by law. I assume the UK has a similar prohibition on certain types of discrimination.

    We’re not asking to be liked, accepted, or supported – we’re asking for equal rights and dignity, and we don’t have to ask nicely.

  • Kenny1948

    @jimbryant: If you bothered to read, the story clearly says that they would not rent to unmarried hetero couples as well.

    As much as I don’t like the fact that they are bigoted ( “religion is no excuse for bigotry”-my e’mail signature ) that is their decision. First of all, I don’t know why a gay couple would want to stay at such a place, other than to make trouble. Where I live in Florida there are no gay rights laws, there are also no hate crimes laws. If someone does not want to do business with you because you appear to be gay, so be it. If someone wants to beat you up, because you are gay, they still could be arrested for battery, but not for a hate crime. If you are in a place where the people are generally anti-gay you are going to have the same problem anywhere. So why make such an issue here?

  • jwrappaport

    Also, I hate to resort to this, but I feel compelled: Hazelmary is unequivocally one of the ugliest humans I have had the misfortune of laying eyes on. I have to look at porn now to cleanse my palate.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Kenny1948: The gay couple were in a civil union, they are in no way comparable to an “unmarried heterosexual couple”. So Hazelmary shouldn’t have done it and neither should you.

  • redspyder

    @Kenny1948: No, its NOT their decision. According to UK law, at least. If you can’t follow the law regarding your business, then you shouldn’t be in that business.
    .
    No idea why you are bringing up Florida’s protections – or lack thereof. They live in the UK – and UK law is all that matters.

  • Geoff B

    Let them go for it. I’m guessing they don’t stand much chance. Correct me if I’m wrong, (2eo, since you’re from the UK,I’m interested in hearing what you have to say), but don’t the anti-discrimination over there have way sharper teeth than the laws here in the US? Chances are some ultra right wing Christian hate group is backing them financially, since they have pleaded poverty in other articles I’ve read.

  • MikeE

    @Kenny1948: Actually, they DO rent single bed rooms to unmarried heterosexual couples. This is the reason they have lost their first two court cases. They have never asked any of their guests to declare their marital status.. until this gay couple.

  • 2eo

    @Geoff B: Yeah, I’d be very surprised, the previous courts have ruled it’s prejudice and the precedent has being set for the ruling moving forward, the high court has also previously ruled that religious belief does not trump human rights.

    I would expect the high court to throw it out sharpish, then they will appeal again and it will be thrown out a second time, they will then appeal to the European Court of Human Rights which will laugh at them as religious beliefs are beliefs and not a right, because people have those not outdated, worthless holy books.

  • Cam

    “She also called the whole situation “thoroughly regretful.” Then she added: “We’re running this under our own roof, and our God demands that our faith doesn’t end at the kitchen door.””
    _____________-

    Actually she would be right if they were letting people stay in their private home. However, they opened a public business, and are therefore bound by the laws pertaining to that. Their religious beliefs are irrelevent.

  • Cam

    @Bozen:

    I really wish that the bigots and trolls who come in here would at least be a bit more intelligent.

    No, they don’t get to discriminate against anybody they want to because they opened up a public business, and are therefore bound by the laws relating to running a business.

    But you know…nice try.

  • Diesel69

    In defense of their christians beliefs—Mary and Joseph were also refused a place at the Inn–Remember they were sent to sleep with the animals to have the baby Jesus–
    So if an Inn wasn’t good enough for Jesus then these people are in the wrong business and should be in the Barn shoveling shit business—

  • philipj999

    Here is what I do not understand. Given their stated beliefs, why are they having trouble staying in business. The place should be filled with good god fearing homophobic Christians like them. There are plenty of them out there. Why aren’t they flocking to their door to support the hateful attitude and bigoted business practice. This kind of ‘bad PR’ should have the faithful banging on the doors to get in. If their good christian customers actually cared about them not only would the place be filled all the time, they would have a fund to pay the legal bills. Unless of course the owners are total jerks and the place is a dump.

  • 2eo

    @philipj999: “The place should be filled with good god fearing homophobic Christians like them.”

    The problem these people have in Britain is that all the god fearing people work at the Daily Mail and Telegraph newspaper naturally they holiday abroad surrounded by the foreigners they hate so much. They’re the last two christians in Britain who don’t work at either place.

  • greybat

    Philip999: Real Christians would be uncomfortable staying at a B&B run by Bigots.

Comments are closed.