Christian B&B: Wilkinsons to appeal case

Mon, 3 Dec 2012

The Christian B&B owner who was fined £3,600 for refusing to allow a gay couple to share a double room, will now appeal the court’s decision.

In October, Susanne Wilkinson was ordered by a judge to pay damages to Michael Black and John Morgan for hurt feelings after she turned them away from her B&B in Berkshire, which is also her home.

Her case, which is supported by The Christian Institute, will be heard at the Court of Appeal between April and July next year.

Beliefs

After losing her case, Mrs Wilkinson said she was trying to uphold her sincerely held beliefs about marriage.

She said that her and her husband, “believe a person should be free to act upon their sincere beliefs about marriage under their own roof without living in fear of the law”.

She added: “Equality laws have gone too far when they start to intrude into a family home.”

Faith

Mrs Wilkinson also said her Christian faith extends to “every area” of her life, not just going to church on a Sunday.

In handing down her ruling, the judge accepted that Mrs Wilkinson was genuine about her Christian beliefs and had also stopped unmarried heterosexual couples from sharing a double bed.

After the case first hit the headlines Mrs Wilkinson and her husband were inundated with hate mail, including a hand-delivered note threatening to torch their house.

Vital

Mr Black and Mr Morgan accept the decision may be overturned, but said they are “pretty confident” they will win.

A Christian Institute spokesman said: “Religious freedom is vital to a healthy democracy, but it has been increasingly under attack in recent years.

“We support Susanne Wilkinson as she takes forward her appeal.”

It comes as Peter and Hazelmary Bull, the Christian owners of a guesthouse in Cornwall who were also sued for refusing to allow a gay couple to share a double room, await a date for their appeal at the Supreme Court.

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