Christian B&B owners besieged by abuse

Tue, 23 Mar 2010

The Christian B&B owners who wouldn’t give a double bed to a homosexual couple have been deluged with hate mail, including a threat to burn down their home.

Mike Judge debates the issue on
BBC Radio 2′s The Jeremy Vine Show

Mike and Susanne Wilkinson have been subjected to abusive phone calls, text messages and emails since the story emerged in the media.

And police officers arrived at the couple’s home last night to look into the abuse.

Mr Wilkinson described the abuse, saying: “There must have been 900 emails, and I would say half of them are really abusive and threatening”.

Foul

“I’m really saddened that so many people have articulated themselves in such a foul way.”

The incident took place on Friday night.

Prior to arriving at the B&B in Cookham, near Maidenhead in Berkshire, a man had booked a double room by telephone for two people, giving only one name and paying a deposit.

Homosexual

When the two men turned up at the B&B the owner, Mrs Wilkinson, realised that the couple were homosexual.

Mrs Wilkinson said that it was “against her convictions” to let the couple share a double bed in her home.

She would have offered the couple two single rooms, but this was not possible because the guest house was fully booked.

Litigation

The Wilkinsons are now facing the prospect of being sued by the homosexual pair for standing by their Christian beliefs.

Mr Wilkinson defended their stance, saying: “We live according to our values and our Christian beliefs. We are not homophobic”.

“Of course everybody has the freedom to live as they choose but we feel that in our own home we have every right to say no to something we don’t agree with.”

But the homosexual pair, Michael Black and John Morgan, are considering suing the couple, not for money but “for a principle”.

Conflict

Mr Morgan said: “She believes that her convictions are based on her Christian views – well all I can say is that it is very unfortunate that her views come into conflict with the law.”

He added: “She shouldn’t be allowed to turn people away because of their sexual orientation and if she doesn’t like that then she needs to find another profession”.

Disagree

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “Whether you agree with the Wilkinsons’ beliefs or not, a diverse society is one that respects diversity of opinion. Surely the world is big enough to let people disagree.

“Suing someone because you don’t like their beliefs is illiberal, undemocratic and has no place in a free society.”

The Wilkinsons’ case mirrors that of Christian B&B owners from Cornwall who are currently being sued over the same issue.