United Kingdom

U.K. court rules in favor of gay couple over anti-gay Christian innkeeper

Michael Black (left) and John Morgan. DAN LITTAUER [e]Special to LGBTQ Nation[m]

LONDON — A British court has upheld a ruling that a gay couple from Cambridgeshire were unlawfully discriminated against when a guesthouse owner wouldn’t let them share a double bed.

The Court of Appeal in London on Tuesday dismissed the guesthouse owner’s challenge, but gave her permission to appeal to the United Kingdom Supreme Court.

Michael Black (left) and John Morgan.

The failed appeal of owner Susanne Wilkinson, a self-described devout Christian, argued that the judge erred in his previous judgement by not “balancing” the couple’s rights against her own rights as a Christian to deny the accomodations because she believed any sexual relations outside marriage are wrong and against God’s law.

Wilkinson refused to allow Michael Black, 64, and John Morgan, 59, to stay in double room at the Swiss Bed and Breakfastin Cookham, Berkshire, England in March 2010.

The couple protested at their treatment but Wilkinson remained adamant saying that was against her religious convictions to allow two men to share a bed.

Black and Morgan, who booked and paid a deposit on the room, took Wilkinson to court in October last year and were awarded £1,800 by Reading County Court, while Wilkinson was granted a right to appeal, which she lost.

Wilkinson said Tuesday she plans to appeal to the UK’s Supreme court.

The UK’s Equality Act makes it illegal to refuse people goods and services on the basis of sexual orientation.

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