19 March 2014
Christian B&B Owners Take Gay Discrimination Case to Court
Sue & Jeff Green, the Christian owners of a hotel in Powys, Wales, have taken their gay discrimination case to the European Court.
The couple, who were accused of discriminating against the LGBT community after refusing to allow gay people to stay in the same room as each other, want the Court to hear their case that their ability to turn away business should remain discretionary as a human right, reports the BBC.
Mr & Mrs Green believe their Christian beliefs, right to religious freedom and human rights should supersede more modern equality laws, but it is unclear if this argument will stand up at a trial.
A similar recent Supreme Court case saw Christian hotel-owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull, of Cornwall, argue they should be able to refuse gay people at their business, something that was ruled as unlawful discrimination after being heard by a Judge.
In the meantime, following a complaint from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Greens, whose business is called the Highland Moors Guest House, has decided to only offer single rooms to all guests and has told all couples they must sleep apart.
But despite this temporary compromise, Mr & Mrs Green have stated they are keen to fight for their right to choose which customers they serve, implying that they could turn away gay couples whenever they want.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Green said, "It all started with a letter from the Equality and Human Rights Commission who said they had received a complaint about a line on our website which said we had double rooms for married couples.
"We agreed to remove this from our website and suddenly the complaint completely vanished. We run our business from our house with our three children, we are not going to break the law."
Gay marriage will be made officially legal on March 29th in England & Wales, with Scotland expected to follow soon behind. No plans have been submitted in Northern Ireland at this time.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free case assessment for employment related discrimination issues including religious or belief discrimination at work. For more information see workplace discrimination or call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.