Advancing human rights and equality
through public interest litigation

  Twitter

Private hotel owners who operate a heterosexual married couples only policy did not have their rights to religious beliefs breached.

Mr and Mrs Bull own a private hotel in Cornwall. They have strong Christian beliefs. They have a policy that states only ‘heterosexual married couples’ can hire a double room.
Mr Hall and Mr Preddy are a homosexual couple. They had hired a double room over the phone (at which stage they were not told of the double room policy). When they arrived at the hotel, they were informed that they would not be able to avail of a double room.

The couple took legal action on the grounds that they had been discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Mr and Mrs Bull appealed to the Supreme Court. They denied that their policy amounted to direct discrimination. They also contended even if their policies were indirectly discriminate, that indirect discrimination was justified.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal unanimously. The Court held that their policy amounted to direct discrimination. If it was indirect discrimination, it was not justified. Although the court held that the right to religious expression (Article 9 of the Convention) was engaged, it was not breached as the limitations on this right were justified and proportionate in the protection of the rights of others.

For further discussion on the case, please see here, here, here and here.

Tags
LGBT