Monday, 17 May 2010

B&B Discrimination Legal Action

You just know Teresa May is dreading being ask to comment about this story. Remember the controversy around the gay couple who went to a B&B but were turned away by the Christian couple because of their sexuality? Well, thanks to Liberty it's back. Part of me wonders what will be achieved by this -apart from potentially making some money for the gay couple and certainly making money for the lawyers. They're drawing on Equality Act provisions to bring a case and they are supported by Liberty who say:

"This case is as important to the principle of non-discrimination as Rosa Parks' refusal to go to the back of the bus. A business with a "no gays policy" is as bad as one that says "no blacks; no Irish". Liberty defends the rights of religious groups to preach their beliefs, even when we disagree with them, but not to discriminate in the provision of goods and services."

I think the Legal Director of Liberty got a little carried away there. Yes, they shouldn't have been turned away and yes, if they wanted to, they should have brought legal action. However, this will now become a struggle of movements -gay verses Christian and the various interest groups will line up behind each group. That leaves me feeling uneasy. Nonetheless, if choices must be made, then I wish Michael Black and John Morgan the best of luck in their case. Homophobia must be challenged - wherever it is found - and the law should apply to everyone.

I'm also curious what this means for 'The Swiss' - the bed and breakfast at the centre of this. It has a rather impressive website and it does look a lovely location - you can see why they chose it. One thing puzzles me. Take a look at the virtual tour. It seems to have a very odd bed arrangement -it looks like a sex club orgy space or is that just me? Go, on take a look. In fact, if you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual book in. Pack the place out. Bonk yourself silly. It'll drive them nuts and if they turn you away, bring a claim. Just a thought.

Interestingly, their website also has a 'conditions' section which states:

Check in/check out: You may check in from 4pm onwards; latest 10 pm
You must check out by 10 am
This condition also applies for guests staying more than one night
Pets: None please!
Payment: Payment is accepted by cash or cheque (with bankers card). US dollars and Euros are accepted at the prevailing tourist rates
Deposit: 50%
Cancellation: After a firm booking has been made, unless we can re-book, we will charge 50% on any cancellation.
No shows: We will charge 100% of the full booking value in the event of a no show

Strangely, there's no mention of homosexuals. Can't think why.

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