Hazelmary Bull, the Christian B&B owner who was fined over her policy of restricting double rooms to married couples, has spoken out against controversial equality laws.
Mrs Bull, who owns the Chymorvah Hotel in Cornwall with her husband Peter, said she would have thought “our democratic society is big enough to be able encompass two different lifestyles”.
Her comments followed in the wake of an inquiry by a group of MPs and Peers which found Christians really are facing genuine legal difficulties in Britain.
She endorsed the findings of the inquiry which called for “resonable accommodation” of religious belief in the public square.
The group of MPs and Peers behind the inquiry criticised the Equality Act in a report last week for failing to deal with the tensions between different strands of equality.
Gary Streeter MP, who was involved with the report, commented: “Christians are not asking for special treatment, but we are looking for a level playing field and for sincerely held beliefs to be given equal space in our law and in our society.”
Last year Mr and Mrs Bull were ordered to pay £3,600 in damages to a homosexual couple in a civil partnership.
The judge ruled that under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, introduced under the previous Government, civil partnerships must be treated in the same way as marriage.
At the time national newspaper commentator Melanie Phillips warned that “the obsession with equality has now reached ludicrous, as well as oppressive, proportions”.
Now Mrs Bull, in comments to the BBC, has said: “What happened here that day was a head-on collision of two lifestyles and I would have thought that in this country our democratic society is big enough to be able to encompass two different lifestyles.”
She added, “I would like to make sure that we’re not going to exchange one lot of oppression for another”.