Stonewall today warmly welcomes a landmark court ruling in favour of a gay couple refused a hotel room by the owners of a hotel in Cornwall.
Civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy had attempted to book a room last September at the Chymorvah Hotel near Penzance in Cornwall. They used the 2007 Sexual Orientation Regulations, secured by Stonewall to prevent discrimination against gay people in the delivery of public and commercial services, to sue owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We’re delighted with the outcome of this test case. You can’t turn away people from a hotel because they’re black or Jewish and in 2011 you shouldn’t be able to demean them by turning them away because they’re gay either.’
‘Religious freedom shouldn’t be used as a cloak for prejudice,’ said Ben Summerskill. ‘For the estimated £30,000 that this court case cost Mr and Mrs Bull and their supporters during the last month, Oxfam or Save the Children could have vaccinated 100,000 people against meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. That would have been a more Christian way to spend their money during the festive season.’
1. Stonewall is the gay equality charity founded in 1989. www.stonewall.org.uk
2. The Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007 (now consolidated in the Equality Act 2010) made discrimination against gay people in the delivery of public and commercial services unlawful.
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