Christian B&B owners who turned away gay customers, can now legally turn away homosexual couples.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull were subject to an international media storm when they refused to let civilly partnered Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy share a room at their B&B, the Chymorvah Hotel, in Marazion in 2008, citing their religious beliefs as a reason for their decision.
Mr Hall and Mr Preddy successfully sued the hotel owners for £3600 in 2011, in a landmark case which found that Mr. & Mrs. Bull had discriminated against the gay couple, on the grounds of sexual orientation under the Equalities Act.
The hotel couple took their case to the Court of Appeal, where it was dismissed and are now waiting to have it heard in England’s highest court, the Supreme Court.
The Independent now reports that the Chymorvah Hotel has been turned in to a respite care centre for Christians and will be run as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation which means anyone staying under the Bull’s roof will have to abide by their rules, as long as those rules are set out in the company’s articles.
Mrs Bull, 69, told the Daily Mail:
“We are not fanatics. We have often been portrayed as being bigoted.
“I am not homophobic. I have no problem with them – I have always thought of them as people and enjoy their company. It is just that we thought it would be wrong for here.
“All we wanted was to be able to support marriage, to say no here.
“This (the result of the trial) is the men’s human rights and they come into a collision with our human rights.”
Mr Hall and Mr Preddy said:
“The judge has confirmed what we already know – our civil partnership has the same status in law as a marriage between a man and a woman, and that, regardless of each person’s religious beliefs, no one is above the law.”
Following the Hearing’s conclusion the Chymorvah found difficulties in attracting guests and was stripped of its Visit England status because of its policies and was not featured in many tourist guides.