When Intolerance Turns Public

Great Britain

Peter and Hazel Bull, the Christian guesthouse owners who failed to overturn a £3,600 fine imposed on them for refusing to allow a gay couple to occupy a double room in their hotel, are taking their case to the Supreme Court, the highest court for civil cases in the UK.

The court of appeal had unanimously ruled that the owners of the Chymorvah House in Marazion, Cornwall, had acted unlawfully. The Christian Institute, who is backing their fight, offers this:

‘Not everyone will agree with Peter and Hazelmary’s beliefs, but a lot of people will think it is shame that the law doesn’t let them live and work according to their own values under their own roof. Something has gone badly wrong with our equality laws when good, decent people like Peter and Hazelmary are penalised but extremist hate preachers are protected.’

Which is fair enough (despite the peculiar ad hominem structure of the statement) if the Bulls had not decided to open a hotel.

Surely if you enter the public arena by offering a service to all the people of the land, you make no exception to whom it is offered? This has nothing to do with religion but equality. I wonder what would happen if the pair refuse a black couple? I personally choose not to believe that a man can survive in the desert without food and water for a month and a half, or that every creature on the planet could fit into a wooden boat built by two people, but if I was running a hotel I’d let the Bulls stay.

Why should tolerance only work in one direction?

15 comments on “When Intolerance Turns Public”

  1. Wayne says:

    Well said Mr Fowler. I am in complete agreement with you.

  2. Nigel says:

    They are running a business and therefore cannot refuse goods and services on account of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation etc. The Bulls say that they will only offer double rooms to married couples – do they then ask to see the marriage certificate of every heterosexual couple who books in? And when gay (equal) marriage is finally introduced in the UK, will they then be happy to accept married gay couples? I rather doubt it.

  3. William says:

    Spot on.
    It’s so annoying that certain groups – ie religious – claim their rights are being impinged because they think it’s a God-given right to discriminate

  4. John Howard says:

    Oh good, I wonder if the religious amongst us will be looking out for comments like admins and the blog will be inundated yet again as it was when he had the temerity to diss the actress from Twilight (Sorry, can’t remember her name). Maybe the Bulls should catch the next Mayflower sailing for the New World so that they can practise their beliefs in freedom.

    Like most narrow minded attitudes the arguments presented rarely seem to bother to try and compare apples with apples.

    I understand that it is dangerous ground trying to quote the bible but will happily forge ahead. What happened to “love your fellow man”?

    Maybe that is another example of George Orwells perspicacity when writing another book, Animal Farm. I am paraphrasing just a little bit here, “some fellow men deserve to be loved more than other fellow men”.

  5. Dan Terrell says:

    Now, hold on John Howard. I’m not letting that “Maybe the Bulls should catch the next Mayflower sailing for New York so they can practise their beliefs in freedom” sail. There has been quite enough zany dumping in the colonies. It’s been either here for the Godly or Australia for the less than gooders. Tightening immigration as we speak.
    Nice ordinary religious, okay – no problem – but not sure about the look of this couple. They might be immigrationally challenged.(Sorry that’s defensive profiling.}
    We have quite enough extreme believers here. FULL. NO ROOMS. TRY FURTHER DOWN THE HIGHWAY. AND NO CABLE AND WIFI>
    Next batch to be accepted: worshippers of the sky, water, trees and the land. Our environment can use repair.
    And no more gun people for a while, either. We are having a spate of “copycat” mass shootings at the moment. Admin will never come for a signing.

  6. John Howard says:

    OK Dan, fair do’s. I do have to admit that you now have had your share of “dumping”. As a favour are you sure there isn’t a spare patch somewhere? How about Wyoming? We would be eternally grateful. I’m sure there must be a little paragraph that covers this in the “special relationship” between our two countries…..
    Maybe they could see if there is a boat on it’s way to Iraq or Iran. I’m sure that they will fit in quite nicely there. There are lots of other believers inhabiting that part of the world.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Iran and Iraq would suit them just fine. The Bulls have a specific problem – the common calling act, or regulation or something. There are specific callings which are not allowed to discriminate on any grounds: inn keepers, haulage firms and restaurants are what spring to mind. People’s lives and safety are involved. (Bridal boutiques might refuse to clothe a male spouse on the grounds they don’t carry things that would fit a male shape, a shoe store might refuse on the grounds that a person needed custom fits which they didn’t carry and a restaurant these days can restrict their offerings to vegan, meat only, completely gluten free or whatever but must serve anyone prepared to pay unless they are a health risk to other patrons.)The fact that it is their home in which they do business is just too bad for them and I have no sympathy.

  8. Helen Martin says:

    And those are the sourest looking “christians” I’ve ever seen. Send them to us and we’ll introduce them to our new gay Moderator. He’ll cheer them up right quick.

  9. snowy says:

    I think their case is doomed to fail.

    My slightly vague memory tells me that, in english law you are not compelled to trade with anyone.

    But if you have entered into a contract you cannot refuse to fulfil it because you take a dislike to the other party. (Which is what happened although through a third party).

    If they accepted a booking, (and they did) they have to honour it, unless the other party has intentionally misrepresented themselves. (And the other party hadn’t).

    Those campaigning for parity between weddings and partnerships, should be a little tiny bit grateful, this kerfuffle has created case law that can be cited in future that the two forms are equal under law.

    If you are in business and you want to pick and choose your customers, you won’t be in business long.

    “Bust a deal and face the wheel”

  10. snowy says:

    And for those that dispair at some of the things that are done by people apparently in the name of their religion have this link.


    It’s a whoping 7 minutes long and if you don’t smile at least once, I’d advise you check you still have a functioning pulse.

  11. BangBang!! says:

    As a long time atheist it never ceases to amaze me just how miserable these type of Christians are. They claim god is in their lives so they are complete but they still seem so much in despair. No mention of Jesus and the love he preached but so much hatred and cherry picking of the OT. Leviticus says the gays are bad so I hate them but I’ll ignore the bit about where Leviticus says I can’t have a bacon sarny or a prawn cocktail or that I can’t have a shave. Nobbers!!! Pardon my French.

  12. Steve says:

    I’m with Dan. We have quite enough bigots in this country, thank you. I hope to live to see the day when my brother-in-law can enjoy all the same rights and privileges as any heterosexual….but being old, cranky, and cynical I rather doubt it. Never underestimate the longevity of idiocy.

  13. Steve says:

    Um…the “old, cranky and cynical” above was meant to describe me, not my brother-in-law. Although, now I think of it…..

  14. glasgow1975 says:

    miserable old c*nts, absolutely no sympathy, it is NOT their home, it is their business, they just live there too. Why so many so called Christians ignore the fact the NEW Testament is meant to supersede the Old one, and then pick & choose the hate mongering bits to suit themselves.
    After barring the gay couple did they make slaves of their friends & neighbours, send a goat into the wilderness or only wear clothes of one fibre? I doubt it.

  15. Alan Morgan says:

    Anyone with a smear of intelligence should be mystified by this sort of thing. How anyone’s anything can grate on people should be a source of bafflement – do whatever you will as long as it hurts no one else. Hate comes from fear, and the old chestnut is what do these people really fear? I’d like to think that as the years go by this sort of bigotry will be looked back on as with any superstitious claptrap but there’ll always be arsewipes that need to hate something, so as not to hate themselves. Looking at this pair they were probably writhing at the thought that the couple they turned away were almost certainly getting some.

    Mind you, I’ve got old friends that call me ‘Breeder’ – but it’s all in the same dry piss take manner we’ve always had with one another. I do however have a t-shirt my missus mocked up with ‘Breeder, Ta For The Taxes’ now. ;0)

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