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Shaker

Christian B&B owners lose Supreme Court appeal

Just stumbled across this on the BBC news website. I have to say that, although I'm sure we covered other staging posts of this story much earlier, I was surprised to learn that it has been rumbling along behind the scenes right up to the loss of appeal on Wednesday - five years after the Bulls refused to allow Steve Preddy and Martyn Hall to share a double bed in their Cornish B&B.

It now turns out that the Bulls are selling up and getting out of the B&B business (which I would say they should never have been in in the first place) because Visit England (rightly, in my opinion) refused to allow them to advertise and without that endorsement, they couldn't drum up any trade.

I'd have more sympathy with the Bulls - well, any sympathy at all - if it could be proven beyond all and any doubt that the couple haven't been used for propagandistic purposes by the disgusting Christian Legal Centre and the Christian Institute who have bankrolled the appeal, which at the moment is exactly what it looks like.

(Just realised that I could have put this in All Faiths and None or News as well as here. The Bulls were always explicit about the fact that it was their interpretation of their Christian beliefs which led them to act in the manner in which they did, however).
IvyOwl

Quote:
It now turns out that the Bulls are selling up and getting out of the B&B business (which I would say they should never have been in in the first place) because Visit England (rightly, in my opinion) refused to allow them to advertise and without that endorsement, they couldn't drum up any trade.


Quite right too! As an ex B&B landlady myself (who had several homosexual couples stay over the years) I had no sympathy with them whatsoever. Yes I did have people I didn't like and yes it is bit uncomfortable if they are sharing your home. But that's the nature of the business. My part of the deal was to provide a clean and comfortable bed, thick fluffy towels, and a wonderful value for money breakfast. If they'd also enjoyed a good nights nooky well all to the good! End of!

Although I could tell you lots of tales I won't, lets just say I came to  realise that Fawlty Towers was less a comedy more a documentary!
trentvoyager

Quote:
Although I could tell you lots of tales I won't,


Oh go on, go on, go on
Shaker

You'd have had the same thing from my auntie - she was a Blackpool landlady for years  

Anywho: the point is that the Bulls broke the law. Under (I think) the Equalities Act 2007 - not to mention plain old common decency - there are a number of protected characteristics which people can't choose, over which they have no control and on which grounds it is deemed illegal to discriminate. Age is one; gender is another; physical (dis)ability is another and so is sexual orientation.

The frequently-rehearsed argument about Chymorvah being the Bulls' home as well as their business also fails. Clearly a B&B is both a private home and a business, but it's the business side of things which is subject to equality law, not the private home. The Bulls had their own bedroom and their own bathroom - this is what counts as a private domestic residence. Other rooms were for the use of the general public as paying customers however and it's these which have to be subject to a whole raft of different laws. My house is a private residence and so I'm perfectly at liberty to eat week-old cat food washed down with a tall glass of fresh vomit should I so choose. I'm quite free to live in a (personally) potentially dangerous death-trap a la dear old Mr Trebus from A Life of Grime, who like many extreme hoarders could barely get in or out of some of the rooms of his house because of the years-old piles of junk.

On the other hand, as soon as you start a business which entails allowing complete strangers into your home in return for payment, you not only turn part of your private residence into a public space but the law quite rightly says OK, in this case you're going to need to be subject to some minimum standards of health and safety (not to mention tax law and insurance liability. The list must be as long as your arm). Safe, quick and easy egress in the event of a fire and food hygiene are the ones that spring immediately to mind, i.e. don't trap your guests and don't poison them. If business owners have to be compliant with various laws in this regard, there's absolutely no reason why they shouldn't also be compliant with equality law.

The story for the Bulls is I suspect now finally over, but I'm sure that there'll be another one along in the not too distant future to take its place.
Ketty

IvyOwl wrote:
. . . I came to  realise that Fawlty Towers was less a comedy more a documentary!


I can believe that.  

"Nowt so funny as folk" is a very true cliche.
trentvoyager

I thought it was "nowt so queer as folk"  

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