Christian hotel owners to take 'gay ban' case to Supreme Court

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Mar 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://travel.aol.co.uk/2012/03/12/...y-bull-to-take-gay-ban-case-to-supreme-court/

    A Christian couple who run a guesthouse in Cornwall are to fight against rulings of discrimination at the Supreme Court.

    Peter and Hazelmary Bull refused to allow gay couple Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall, from Bristol, to stay together in a double room at Chymorvah House in Marazion back in 2008.

    Since then, judges have twice ruled that the couple broke equality laws - but they are now taking the case further.

    Mrs Bull told the BBC: "I feel that the law has gone too far. Certainly Pete and I are ready to see if we can achieve some sort of result whereby two lifestyles can live alongside each other.

    http://travel.aol.co.uk/2012/03/12/...y-bull-to-take-gay-ban-case-to-supreme-court/
     
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  2. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I would never choose to stay at a place whose stated policy was to not let unmarried couples share a room, regardless of my sexual orientation. That just throws up too many red flags for me.

    Also, I'm no lawyer, but if in fact this couple had a civil union, then I am not sure what the case is about.
     
  3. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    A place to be avoided!
     
  4. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Ditto +1!
     
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  5. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    But they have a great breakfast buffet! :D
     
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  6. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    so you check on this type of policy for all the places you stay?(I'm playing devil's advocate here)

    I don't and don't expect that I'll ever start. I look at places I want to stay & book it if the property meets my travel needs.

    Based upon the looks of this place, I'd consider staying at this house: http://chymorvah.co.uk/
    I'd probably get kicked out as if they started a discussion ad infinitum about their faith/religion from a righteous tone, I'd have to say some things.
     
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  7. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Me neither, but when info/publicity like this goes public about a property, I definitely take it into consideration...
     
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  8. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    +1, reality for me is that while I wouldn't stay here given the recent public info, it is doubtful that I'd remember this public info when making reservations long after the negative info was published.
     
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  9. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I might be interested in this place, but this disclaimer on the booking page would give me pause:

    "Here at Chymorvah we have few rules, but please note that as Christians we have a deep regard for marriage(being the union of one man to one woman for life to the exclusion of all others).
    Therefore, although we extend to all a warm welcome to our home, our double bedded accommodation is not available to unmarried couples. Thank you."

    Given that, I am actually quite shocked the couple in question booked the room at all, unless this kind of court challenge was what they were looking for. The language is quite clear, and even if the legality of the exception is debatable, the intent certainly is not. Again, I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that their might be a case based on discrimination of one type of married couple vs. another under the law, but certainly, I would not have chosen a romantic holiday as a time to challenge this rule.
     
  10. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    While there's certainly a possibility that the couple involved were looking for a fight, I'm sure there are innumerable ways to book this hotel without encountering the language on the web page (an agent could have booked it, or they may have read about it and called directly). So it's also possible that there was no ulterior motive.

    As for the legality we should remember that this is taking place in Great Britain. The fact that the owners were found in violation indicates that there must be some sort of public accommodation law active, but I'm not at all familiar with what protections may be available in Britain.
     
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  11. DestinationDavid
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    Perhaps the language was added AFTER this blew up in their faces?
     
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  12. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    Both things might be true; I was not really blaming the victim, as I believe it is ultimately fine to challenge discrimination and prejudice no matter what the situation. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.
     
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  13. DestinationDavid
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    I didn't think you were blaming, I was just offering what I considered a plausible explanation. :)

    I don't frequent businesses that make it a point to single out individuals as "ineligible" for service, whether they don't want gays, people of color, Christians, or purple-haired fire dancing atheists. Everyone is free to say and think whatever it is they want. Freedom of thought and speech doesn't mean you are free from facing the consequences of those beliefs though. One of those consequences is not getting any of my money.
     
  14. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I didn't think you were-- I just realized that my post was not entirely clear! :)
     
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  15. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Sorry but I draw the line here. Had a purple-haired fire dancing atheists in the hotel room next to mine.
    When he started fire dancing the heat and smoke were overwhelming! :p
     
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  16. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Plus the fire alarm kept going off !!
     
  17. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    unless this couple declared they were a couple, then i don't see how it became an issue.

    i travel quite often with my female friends, and often we have to share a room with one bed. how does that differ from men, traveling abroad and having to share? same with men and women friends traveling together. i have two close friends(man and woman), who often traveled together, were not married (to each other) and are just friends. i would hate to think they couldn't get room b/c of that.

    OTOH, same female friend traveled via river boat in Egypt with her female friend and her friend's boyfriend (now husband). they had to state that it was a brother and sister(my friend) and the "sister's" friend all sharing a room. otherwise they would not have been accommodated.

    i just find the whole thing off putting to think service is denied based on any of the above mentioned "types" of people...well except those pesky purple-haired fire dancers. we don't like them kind 'round here. :D
     
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  18. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    Having spoken with mix race couples traveling through Asia (specifically Asian women / White man) they had been asked several times for proof of being married to let them stay in the same room. And I think they given the disclaimer referenced here, they seem to explicitly say that their double beds are for married couples only.
     
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  19. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    IMHO, people do not have to agree with their business practice, but it IS a private business...if someone does not like the policy, they can take their business elsewhere.

    Would this same issue come up if it were a "XXXXXX" only hotel for groups other than Christians?
     
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  20. PhlyingRPh
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    Wasn't that uncommon to see signs like "No Dogs or Wogs" or sometimes "Dogs Welcomed. N****s or P***i's Not Allowed" outside restaurants and B&B's in English seaside resorts in the 1960's and even early 70's Sometimes they couldn't tell if you met the criteria for exclusion when you made your arrangements on the phone, so they would put up such signs in anticipation that you might be so that you would just go away. That era has long since passed, but as evidenced by the story, there are still some fish left to fry before we can rest.
     
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  21. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    The web site of the hotel specifically mentions that because they are "Christians" the owners will deny double-bedded accommodation to anyone who is not married. I do not know what would happen if you and another woman were to try to register there for a room with one bed. I assume you would be quizzed about your relationship. Perhaps, if you could prove your heterosexual bona fides to the satisfaction of the owners, you might be granted a waiver on the grounds of non-lesbianism but by then I imagine you would have decided to take your business elsewhere.
     
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  22. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    In reality, there are public accommodation laws in various countries that specify to what extent business owners are allowed to discriminate against people. The lower court, at least, found that this couple was in violation of those laws.

    In the United States, public accommodation laws have been used to overcome exclusion of various ethnic groups. There was recently a case in which a Cajun bar in Louisiana refused to admit a party that included some black people. Unfortunately for them, the party was made of up USDOJ workers attending a nearby conference.

    When my father traveled the country in the 1950s the inclusion of the phrases "Christian accommodation", "near church", or "Bibles in rooms" meant that he, as a Jew, would not be accommodated.
     
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  23. DestinationDavid
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    Seems many of us agree with you in principle as implicated by everyone here indicating they'd take their business elsewhere. However the larger issue seems to be that this breaks the law in the UK. So apparently it isn't their decision to make as owners of a business.
     
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  24. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I have been stuck in hotel rooms with my sisters...and the only option was a double bed...:eek:

    My knowledge in public accommodation laws is nil...thanks for clarifying. :)
     
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  25. DestinationDavid
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    LINK. Heart of Alabama Hotel vs. United States is a good example of how it's implemented in the US.

    Edited to Add: Also Katzenbach vs. McClung - LINK.
     
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