Peter And Hazelmary Bull, Christian Hotel Owners, Ordered To Pay Damages To Gay Couple
Two Christian guesthouse owners who were ordered to pay damages after refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in a double room lost their appeal today.
The challenge by Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who run Chymorvah House in Marazion, Cornwall, was rejected by three judges in the Court of Appeal in London.
They had appealed against a conclusion by a judge at Bristol County Court that they acted unlawfully when they turned away Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy in September 2008.
Judge Andrew Rutherford ruled in January last year that the Bulls had breached equality legislation and ordered them to pay the couple a total of £3,600 damages.
The appeal judges heard that the Bulls thought any sex outside marriage was a "sin", but denied they had discriminated against Mr Hall and Mr Preddy, from Bristol.
Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of gay rights campaign group Stonewall, said he was "delighted" by the verdict.
"The Court’s decision vindicates Stonewall’s hard lobbying to make it illegal to deny goods or services to someone just because they happen to be gay.
"That obviously includes hotel rooms for many gay holidaymakers, which can only be a good thing in a Jubilee year. I hope Mr and Mrs Bull will now feel content to go home to do God’s good work as Easter approaches, instead of relentlessly pursuing a happy couple through the courts."