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'Christianity attacked' – hotel loses appeal

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: February 17, 2012

Peter and Hazelmary Bull were ordered to pay £3,600 after court battle.

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CHRISTIAN guesthouse owners who refused to let a gay couple share a double bedroom at their hotel in Marazion said they were "disappointed" after losing their appeal against a High Court ruling.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull claim they have been the victim of hate campaigns, have been forced to shut their business and have lost thousands of pounds since the case began more than three years ago.

The couple, who run the Chymorvah Private Hotel, say they are now planning to convert their hotel to a Christian rest centre and are waiting for a Charities Commission ruling on their plans.

The Bulls were ordered to pay £3,600 after losing a legal battle against civil partners Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall, from Bristol, who had booked to stay at their hotel in September 2008.

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The Marazion couple appealed against the decision, arguing they had the human right to bar unmarried couples from sharing a double bedroom, in line with their beliefs. They denied discriminating against Mr Hall and Mr Preddy, stating that they believed all sex outside marriage was a sin.

But Sir Andrew Morritt, Chancellor of the High Court, Lord Justice Hooper and Lady Justice Rafferty, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, last week rejected their plea.

Mr and Mrs Bull did not attend the appeal verdict last week, but Mr Bull told The Cornishman afterwards: "The only thing that we can really say is that we are disappointed that we cannot run our guesthouse as we wish.

"We are trying to become a Christian rest centre, a charity, and in that way our biblical beliefs can be part of what we do for people who want to come here. They will have to abide by our rules.

"We don't have freedom of speech any more. Christianity is under attack."

The Christian Institute has provided legal and financial support for the Bulls' appeal, which took place more than a year after the original court decision in the case.

After the ruling, Simon Calvert, from The Christian Institute, said: "[They] have been penalised for their beliefs. A lot of people will think it is shame the law doesn't let them live and work according to their own values under their own roof."

What do you think? Should guesthouse owners be allowed to refuse gay couples? Vote in our poll to the right of this article.

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  • eyeopener  |  December 29 2012, 9:21PM

    Lafrowda you either comply the law or you don't. Its not a menu where you pick and follow the legislation that takes your fancy. Its also pretty silly to automatically assume that two gay men running a guest house would automatically refuse a heterosexual couple. In any event how would they know from appearance if the couple were heterosexual or bisexual. If two gay men running a guest house behaved in that way you can be pretty sure that the law would catch up with them. What I find extremely offensive is that two bigots should be used to tar the rest of Christianity with the same brush. Christianity is so much better than this.

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  • JJLee  |  December 04 2012, 1:14PM

    So sad Jonny. Do you enjoy teasing those with morals? We know what they did was illegal but here is the dilemma where are the bull's human rights and what will happen in Europe, I can see this getting very messy. You can have a green from me if it means so much. I hope in return you can learn some compassion for those who do not share your opinions

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  • Jonny2010  |  December 04 2012, 12:15PM

    Yes, keep those red arrows coming!

  • Jonny2010  |  December 03 2012, 7:45PM

    Perhaps if they had said that unmarried AND un-civil partnershiped people are not permitted a double bed, they would have been ok? Afterall wasn't the issue that they said unmarried couples can not share, and gay people can not legally marry hence discrimination, hence why they lost the case?

  • youngcornwall  |  December 03 2012, 7:44PM

    The Bull's are no longer on trial here, they have done their bit, and all credit to them. For me it is the very foundation of our so called Christian country that is now in the spot light, with the Queen as the defender of our faith and all that goes with that. The recognised church has departed so very far on different issues regarding the teachings of the Bible that they are now in freefall. The outcome of this Supreme Court could be the final straw which will be no surprise to anyone maybe. "The Christian owners of a guesthouse who turned away a gay couple have won permission to fight their case in the Supreme Court." http://tinyurl.com/bpfkcg6

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  • youngcornwall  |  December 03 2012, 4:38PM

    "where is the equality when christians are not able to run their business as they see fit and in line with their religious concience." Christians should know that they should abide by the law of the land. "Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:17"

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  • barrtribe  |  December 03 2012, 4:21PM

    Sorry mate not going down that road. Also dont have to justify my beliefs to an unbelieving world. There really is no point. I, as with the hotel owners have a right to believe as I do and to follow a life path as I choose. As do people who are gay. That is the point.

  • cheekyman_jr  |  December 03 2012, 4:04PM

    So Barrtribe, what you're saying that one's actions are justified if they're written in a religious text?

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  • barrtribe  |  December 03 2012, 2:32PM

    btw cheekyman jr. "Christianity is too easily knocked nowadays, and it's a shame, most Christians I know (some more devout than others) don't judge people, I thought that was one of the main tenents of the religion." How do YOU judge who is more; or less devout? The bible has many passages about being Judges that cover many different areas. It also calls on the believer to make sure that they act in good concience according to the word. You and others have totally missed the point. It's not about judging peole who are Gay. WE as christians are called to judge one another in the faith. God is judge of those outside of the faith. It's Gods problem not ours. Its not a personal attack on the individual ; it's a matter of being a responsable believer in all that we do; including how we run our business's. And run them in a way that is according to God's word. The world doesn't always agree with us; doesn't make what we believe is wrong; it just clashes with how others may choose to live their lives. What has happened here is that we are being forced bit by bit to conform to the world; the word very clearly commands us not to.

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  • barrtribe  |  December 03 2012, 2:17PM

    "we are all equal; but some are more equal than others". where is the equality when christians are not able to run their business as they see fit and in line with their religious concience. It's only law because a small minority with a very lound voice and PC glory hunters who sort to gain political credibility; used their voices to make it so. AS someone said I would like to see evidence of other religous groups being targeted in the same manner. The group that targeted them should be charged under the victimisation law.

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