LONDON - A Christian couple is being sued after they refused to let a homosexual couple stay together at their seaside hotel.
Martyn Hall and his civil partner, Steven Paddy, are suing Peter and Hazelmary Bull, claiming they experienced “direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation,” according to The Daily Mail.
The Bulls, both Christians, say that they have had a long-standing policy of refusing any unmarried couples the right to stay in a double room together in their hotel.
Bull, 62, noted that when her brother and his female partner stay at the hotel, they are also required to stay in separate rooms as they are not married.
The Bulls have had their “married only” policy since they acquired the hotel in 1986.
The hotel website states they have a few rules and "out of a deep regard for marriage" they "prefer to [allow] double accommodation [for] heterosexual married couples only."
In August, the couple received a letter from Stonewall, a gay rights organization that said it had received a complaint and alleged that the hotel was breaking the law.
Then in September, Hall and Paddy called the hotel to book a double room for two nights. Bull said he assumed the booking was for a man and his wife.
When the couple arrived, hotel manager Bernie Quinn said that the booking could not be honored. Hall and Paddy said the decision was illegal and reported the hotel to the police.
“I have had people clearly involved in affairs and under-age people who have tried to book in here for sex, and I have refused them the same as I refused these gentlemen because I won’t be a party to anything which is an affront to my faith under my roof," Hazelmary Bull said, according to The Daily Mail.
Tom Ellis, the Bulls' lawyer, said, “Our argument is that the regulations impinge on the Bulls’ human rights … Under the European Convention on Human Rights, people are able to hold a religious belief and manifest it in the way they act.”
The Bulls are also being supported by the Christian Institute.