Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Christian hotel owners sued for their marriage standards


Doesn't this look like just the most peaceful, beautiful setting for a seaside hotel in England?  Looking through their website and being a bit of an Anglophile, I would love to go here with my wife for a vacation.

Owned by committed Christians, their reservation page clearly states:

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.

Having stated them up front, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, owners of The Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion, Cornwall apparently had little to no problems with people abiding by these conditions since they bought the hotel in 1986. 

Until last August....

That's when the couple received a letter from the gay rights organization Stonewall saying that it had received a complaint and warning the hotel that it was breaking the law with its conditions.  Then, the following month, Steven Preddy called up the hotel to make a reservation for a double room for two nights.  Mrs. Bull (62), who took the call, assumed that he would be staying with his wife.  When Preddy showed up with his gay civil partner, Martyn Hall, the manager informed them that the hotel could not honour the booking since it violated their clearly stated conditions. Before they left, the gay couple told the manager that he was acting illegally.  They then left and reported the incident to police.

The Bulls are now facing a county court claim from Hall and Preddy for up to to £5,000 (about $9,000 CAD) in damages alleging "direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation."  The couple deny the charge, stating that the their conditions apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.  Mrs. Bull told the Daily Mail that even her own brother and his female partner have to stay in separate rooms when they come to stay.

The couple's lawyer, Tom Ellis 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."

It seems obvious to me that this couple was deliberately set up, given the close timing of the booking and the letter from Stonewall.  It is noteworthy that no heterosexual couple has sued this hotel for the past 23 years, but the first response of the so-called victimized gay couple was to report to the incident to the police.  I believe that they knew full well that they would not be spending the night when they showed up.  They went in looking for a fight with this Christian couple.  In my books, this doesn't make them the victims of anything; they were the ones on the offensive.   I only hope that the county court throws this case out for what it is; an agenda-driven garbage lawsuit meant to intimidate and bully good people with convictions.


Anonymous said...

I applaud you for standing up for what God's word clearly states, for believer's and their homes that are dedicated to serving Him. He is the Judge and ultimately justice will be served. My prayer is that He will uphold you and keep you in this battle. Stand firm in love.

Sand Mama said...

This is amazing! Why on earth would you want to try to stay in a Christian, obviously family-oriented hotel, if you were a gay couple? What is to be gained other than the (attempted) public humiliation and expense incurred by the hotel owners?!? What malice, what arrogance!
I for one will try to support this hotel this summer with my Husband and Children in tow! God bless you and good luck!

Glenn Penner said...

Someone posted a comment which I decided not to post (for a couple of reasons) but who asked if Christians considered themselves above the law. The answer is that the actions of this couple are not technically against the law and second, even if it were, Christians have always believed that when faced with a law that would call for them to act against what they believe to believe God's law, they have no choice but to disobey. We answer to a higher law.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the way the business is run, who the hotel is catering for, If they said it was a Christian Hotel, for Christian people, would that get them off for banning the unmarried or homosexual couples from sharing a room ?. The Christian Church is currently campaigning about the undervaluation of the Christian faith within British society. I think Christian values are equally as important to me as Gay values are to gay people. I am hoping they can find a way round the new law, the difficulty is the hotel is in the public domain right now, and not a private dwelling.

Anonymous said...

Surely what we need to consider here is whether there is discrimination against sexual orientation or or is it agains premeditated sin. Clearly it is not the former as the hotel's policy applies equally to heterosexuals. It is therefore the latter. God's word clearly tells us that homosexuality is a sin and it it surely the right of everyone to do whatever possible to prevent sin in their own home.
If Pete and Hazlemary were knowingly to allow terrorists to prepare their bombs, or bank robbers to plan their next job, in their home, they would quite rightly be condemned but because they have denied this "couple" the opportunity to commit fornicaton in their hotel they are villified and persecuted by this minority group who choose to flout God's law. In the eyes of nearly every faith murder, theft and fornication are regarded as sins and are to be abhorred.
Let us not forget however that "all have sinned" and that a Christian is not "homophobic". We should, as does God, love the sinner but hate the sin I believe that, in this case, Pete and Hazlemary acted in precisely that spirit in offering these people alternative accomodation whilst denying them he opportunity to sin further.