Bristol

Court defers judgement on gay couple's B&B refusal

  • 14 December 2010
  • From the section Bristol
Peter and Hazelmary Bull
Image caption Mr and Mrs Bull said the policy had been in force for the past 24 years

Judgement in a landmark case into the rights of a gay couple from Bristol who were refused a double room at a Cornish B&B has been deferred.

Martyn Hall and civil partner Steven Preddy told the Bristol County Court that what happened in 2008 was an act of direct discrimination against them.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull from the Chymorvah Hotel in Marazion said it was their strong Christian belief not to let unmarried couples share a room.

Judgement is expected after Christmas.

The court was told the owners of the Chymorvah Private Hotel broke The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 when they did not allow the couple to share a room.

Barristers for Mr Hall and Mr Preddy said they felt what happened in September 2008 was an act of direct discrimination against the gay couple and that was why they were seeking compensation of up to £5,000.

Image caption Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall are seeking £5,000

Owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull told the court their policy of not allowing unmarried couples to share a room had been in force for the past 24 years and is mentioned on the bookings page of the hotel's website.

But Mr Preddy told the court he had booked the room by telephone and had not seen the conditions.

In what has been dubbed as landmark case the couple said they felt strongly about the rights of a civil partnership, what types of equality rights they had and what would happen in the future.

It is also a case that brings the Christian faith into the arena.

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