United Kingdom

UK bed and breakfast owners lose appeal in gay discrimination case

Peter and Hazelmary Bull Staff Reports

LONDON — The Christian owners of a hotel in southern England have lost a U.K. Supreme Court appeal over whether their refusal to let a gay couple stay amounted to discrimination.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull

Peter and Hazelmary Bull

Peter Bull and his wife, Hazelmary, were ordered to pay damages in 2011 to Martyn Hall and his partner Steven Preddy for turning the couple away from Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion in southwestern England.

The Bulls – both devout Christians – had refused on religious grounds to let Hall and Preddy share a room.

At the time of the incident, the Bulls argued they did not turn away Hall and Preddy because they are gay, but said they did not allow unmarried heterosexual couples to rent rooms, either.

“We always ran our business in accordance with what it says in the Bible,” Hazelmary Bull told the BBC in September. “We are responsible for what happens under our own roof, and it was important we abided by that.”

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Regardless, a judge ruled in the gay couple’s favor, awarding them 1,800 pounds (about $2,900 at the time) each in damages.

Ultimately, the Bulls took their case to Britain‘s highest court, where five Supreme Court judges ruled against them on Wednesday.

Hazelmary Bull said she was “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the ruling.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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