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Christian guesthouse owners will be able to turn away gay couples

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 21, 2013

  • Peter and Hazelmary Bull

  • Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, left, who took Peter and Hazelmary Bull to court.

  • Chymorvah House owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull. Buy this picture: www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/buyaphoto

Comments (6)

THE CHRISTIAN owners of a Marazion guesthouse who were taken to court after they refused a gay couple a double room will now legally be allowed to turn away unmarried straight and gay couples.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull have changed the status of the Chymorvah guesthouse to a not-for-profit company, allowing them to specify that anyone staying with them should abide by their Bible-based beliefs.

The couple revealed details of the change this week, in their first in-depth interview with The Cornishman since turning away civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy from their guesthouse almost five years ago.

Mr and Mrs Bull, who have run the guesthouse for 27 years, were later ordered to pay £3,600 in damages to the couple and their civil case has been the subject of endless media speculation.

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Since then, the guesthouse owners have appealed against the decision in the Court of Appeal, which they lost, and are now set to have the case heard in the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, Mrs Bull said they wanted to be able to continue with their policy of not allowing unmarried heterosexual couples and homosexual couples to share a double bed under their roof.

Mrs Bull said: "The Christian Institute advised us on how to form a limited company, which we were able to do by stating in the articles of the company that anyone coming to stay here would be expected to abide by our Bible-based beliefs.

"When we had the trial, there were a number of local B&Bs who said, 'we are watching this very closely because we want to be able to say no sometimes', not necessarily to that particular group of people but just on certain occasions."

The couple's defence was financed by The Christian Institute, a charity which says it believes the case could have far-reaching ramifications.

A spokesman for the institute said: "The finding against them still stands. They had to find a way of still running a business so they can pay their mortgage without compromising their beliefs. The advice they got was that they should set up a not-for-profit company that only provides a service to Christians."

"All we wanted was to be able to support marriage, to say 'no' here." The Bulls give their first big interview to The Cornishman. See page 8.

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  • Alexio92  |  April 14 2013, 12:24AM

    I am going to call them - and record it pretending to be a Christian worried that their bed linen might use mixed fibres as that is against their own religious beliefs.

    Rate   4
  • Kimindex  |  April 06 2013, 3:39PM

    @mrcrashhappy 'The depths of secular hedonistic, counter-culture depravity that marks the politically correct posts in this article are nothing less than sickening and clear evidence of why a once great empire has become the effeminate state of Anglostan.' What a great parody!

    Rate   -2
  • Kimindex  |  April 06 2013, 3:32PM

    @inteligent it's not their 'living space' in issue (that's the private part of the premises) but their business. The mental pain is inflicted by those doing the discriminating.

    Rate   -3
  • inteligent  |  April 06 2013, 3:13PM

    IMHO This single event has been blown up as a test case to get a consensus on how far power groups like Common Purpose, and its noodle brain social experimenters, can emulsify individual freedom into a new social order. The issue here is not about Left or Right, Gay or Straight, Male of Female, Black or White, Muslim or Christian. It's about the fundamental liberty of people to choose who they want to share their living space with, regardless of affiliations with other groups. The encroachment by Liberty Foundations on this fundamental right of choice is clearly creating a moral maze for many international organisations operating as advocacy groups for the protection of people who have been identified as victims of prejudice. Do we protect the right of groups of people or individuals? Is a society more sacrosanct than the individual? If protection is guaranteed to groups by forcing individuals to surrender their freedom of choice to the choice made by groups does not this lay the groundwork for a fascist, intolerant living space for individuals? What's the trade off here? Less power of the individual in order that the life style and ideological/religious choices made by groups, minority groups relatively speaking, can be legitimately and forcefully pushed upon all society as a moral imperative? Is this the new group morality of people who claim no religious affiliation? Surely the moral issue of choice is not about one group imposing itself on the whole of society but more about the whole of society accepting a plurality of moral choices in which the right of individual conscience is accepted as an a priori right that over rides any State or Common law that tries to codify preferences/norms expressed and practiced by particular social groups. One of the main arguments is about degrees of harm 'done' to individuals marginalized by another individual's conscience. Well, if it's all about mental or emotional harm may I suggest a course in NLP for all those who experience mental pain? People don't fully understand how their minds work. If the expression of conscience leads to physical assault by either side then this requires the restraint not by moral/social regulation but by medication either by pharmacy or psychology or spiritual awakening. The issue of human rights is an issue of human identity and in this philosophical arena there is no such thing as a universal law that can be applied. Advocacy groups are operating under the bizarre circumstance of being drip fed with ideology that trickles down from elite think tanks within globalist foundations like CFR, RAND, Ford and RIIA who are all spinners of various ideological yarns busily framing a neo-liberal discourse. A discourse that often says one thing, designed with exoteric popular meaning, while concealing another thing more esoteric politically. The moral maze becomes more bizarre by the day as power groups compete with each other to use the media as a kind of gestalt tool to influence targeted sectors of society with a moral message of moral responsibility and each time defeating their own purpose in the process. It is hopeful one day we will enjoy a more intelligent liberal society. One that focuses academically on the re-orientation of the plutocrat's control of poverty and debt which imprisons most of the world than on mind numbing mind games concerning sexuality and religion.

    Rate   2
  • Kimindex  |  March 30 2013, 12:46PM

    I hope these committed and sincere Christians didn't and won't work on the Sabbath or employ others to.

    Rate   -2
  • Green Ginger Studios  |  March 24 2013, 5:50PM

    Here we go again then. So, "not for profit"? They're renting out rooms to pay a mortgage at the end of which they'll be the owners of a presumably substantial asset. I'd call that a profit. And they won't be advertising, right? To Let: Small rooms in small-minded house. Applicants should have limited grasp of reality and a deep dislike of rationality. Apply, listing relevant prejudices, to........

    Rate   3
  • jimjams2011  |  March 22 2013, 7:36PM

    The irony is that if priests were allowed to express their sexuality with either men or women they would not be abusing kids.

    Rate   3
  • Doitdreckley  |  March 22 2013, 5:07PM

    The Christian Right who wish to deny equality to gay people are joined by many of those who vote Conseravtive to support 'free enterprise'. It makes no sense - especially in the times that we are living in - to turn away paying customers unless they are agressive or destructive. Once you rent a room what goes on in that room is your business. It appears that the lanlord's seem to believe that once people rent a room off them they will not be able to keep their hands off one another. Don't forget, the intolerance appears to extend to hetrosexual couples who are not married and (by extension of belief) to those who may have remarried after divorce (despite the circumstances). Charitable status suggests some device to dodge both moral and taxation obligations, a favoured tactic of the 'Right'.

    Rate   3
  • whitemantra  |  March 22 2013, 4:20PM

    OscarDelta- this is a valid point. If they have taken the booking and the B&B owners had made it clear their terms and conditions then there is no contract for them to share a double room. If the B&B never made that clear and it was not part of their terms they would either have to accept the booking or compensate them. It could be difficult. In my student days I have gone travelling and shared a room, even a bed with another man. This was to reduce cost and nothing else but who could know. I could not have entered a contract with the B&B and I'm not gay and neither was the other student. I would not have minded as long as alternative accommodation were available. I think in this instance the gay couple who took them to court did so as part of a campaign.

    Rate   1
  • OscarDelta  |  March 22 2013, 12:48PM

    I see what you are saying whitemantra but do you think it should be the responsibility of the gay couple to check whether a place will accept them when they book? What if they book their long anticipated summer hols well in advance and spend ages looking forward to it and then get there to find that they are unable to stay there, as happened here? Modern society has no space for, or need of, businesses like this.

    Rate   8