CI backs church minister punished by hotel over marriage beliefs

The Christian Institute is supporting a church minister punished by a Belfast hotel for his biblical beliefs about marriage.

Revd Harry Coulter was forced to stop an event in support of traditional marriage at the Balmoral Hotel in October last year.

The Institute’s legal team is helping him with his action against the hotel.

Response

In October last year, Revd Coulter booked a conference room at the Balmoral Hotel, Belfast, for a ‘Marriage Matters’ event, addressing the imposition of same-sex marriage by Westminster on Northern Ireland.

Halfway through, his meeting was interrupted by hotel staff demanding he bring it to an end, citing a complaint from another patron.

Fifty attendees had to leave the hotel along with the keynote speaker, Tony Rucinski from Coalition for Marriage, who had travelled from Wales.

Revd Coulter has written to the hotel asking for an explanation and some form of compensation but has received no response. He has now instructed solicitors.

We’ve got to put an end to what we consider to be attempts to punish people for believing in one man-one woman marriage.

Freedom

Simon Calvert, the Institute’s Deputy Director for Public Affairs, said: “For the hotel to take Mr Coulter’s booking, take his money, provide signage and set up the event, only to stop it halfway through, causing maximum inconvenience and embarrassment, is an outrage.

“We’ve got to put an end to what we consider to be attempts to punish people for believing in one man-one woman marriage. After all, it’s what most people believed in until recently.

“The Supreme Court has reaffirmed that belief in traditional marriage is worthy of respect in a democratic society. So we are very happy to be supporting Mr Coulter in his legal action to defend his freedom to hold and express these beliefs without being humiliated like this.”

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