Friday 10 February 2012

Discrimination - Christian Beliefs v Gay Rights

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that Christian hotel owners Mr & Mrs Bull discriminated against civil partners Messrs Preddy & Hall by refusing to allow them to share a double-bed.

The Chymorvah Hotel in Cornwall operated a strict policy refusing double bedrooms to unmarried couples. Upholding the County Court's decision, the Court of Appeal held that the Claimants - having undergone a civil partnership ceremony - should be treated the same way as a married couple, and the only reason they were treated differently was because they were gay.

Of interest is the Court's decision to reject Mr & Mrs Bull's Article 9 argument, ie that the 'no unmarried couples' policy was simply a manifestation of their religious belief. The Court held that if they chose to run a business, they had to run it in accordance with the law - which includes an obligation not to discriminate against potential customers on grounds of their sexual orientation.

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