UK Judge awards damages to gay couple turned away at B&B


This story is making headlines in the UK today:

A British judge has fined a Christian couple for refusing to allow a gay couple the use of a double room at their hotel in southern England.

... Bull and his wife cited religious objections, but insisted their policy was not solely aimed at homosexuals but all unmarried couples.

In a written ruling at Bristol County Court on Tuesday, Rutherford awarded the gay couple 1,800 pounds (about $2,900) each in damages.

As is almost always the case, however, there is far more to the story, notes Mike Judge in the UK Telegraph:

The guesthouse is not just the Bulls’ livelihood, it’s their home. Surely they should be allowed the freedom to live by their own values under their own roof. Everyone benefits from these important liberties, and everyone suffers when they are eroded.

The case brought by a homosexual couple against Mr and Mrs Bull was paid for by the Government-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). They won their case but the judge ruled that his decision does affect the Bulls’ human rights and forces them to act against their genuine beliefs, so he has given permission for an appeal.

... In a chillingly Orwellian comment, the EHRC’s John Wadham said: “This decision means that community standards, not private ones, must be upheld.” And so the power of the state is brought to bear against a Christian couple aged 70 and 66 who believe in that most pernicious of institutions, marriage.

Judge concludes:

Discrimination law is meant to act as a shield to protect people from unfair treatment, not to be used as a sword to attack those whose beliefs you disagree with. The same laws used against the Bulls have been used to shut down faith-based adoption agencies that want children to have the benefit of a mum and a dad who are committed to each other in marriage. Children were sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Personal liberty may be next.

It is important to underscore that the Bulls' policy was against allowing any unmarried couple a double room: whether opposite or same-sex.