The Christian owners of a Cornish B&B today lost their appeal against last year’s ruling that their policy of restricting double rooms to married couples discriminated against a gay couple.
But, while upholding that ruling, the Court of Appeal warned that a new intolerance should not take root against Christians because of their beliefs about sexual ethics.
The three judges upheld last year’s County Court decision which found the policy to be discriminatory on grounds of sexual orientation – despite the fact that the policy was also applied to unmarried heterosexual couples.
Last year Peter and Hazelmary Bull, owners of the Chymorvah B&B near Penzance, were ordered to pay £3,600 in damages to Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall, a gay couple in a civil partnership.
The Christian Institute funded Mr and Mrs Bull’s appeal. Spokesman Simon Calvert said: “Peter and Hazelmary have been penalised for their beliefs about marriage.
“Not everyone will agree with Peter and Hazelmary’s beliefs, but a lot of people will think it is shame that the law doesn’t let them live and work according to their own values under their own roof.
“Something has gone badly wrong with our equality laws when good, decent people like Peter and Hazelmary are penalised but extremist hate preachers are protected.”
Watch a statement by Hazelmary Bull following last year’s ruling