Ruling expected on gay hotel ban

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A judge is expected to rule tomorrow (Tuesday) on whether a hotel can lawfully bar gay couples.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who own the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Cornwall, are being sued for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation by a gay couple.

Martin Hall and Steven Preddy, who are civil partners, booked a room at the hotel in 2008 but were told that they could not share a double bed.

The Bulls argue that they ban all unmarried couples from sharing double beds. Their website states that they only allow “heterosexual married couples” share double rooms.

Their case has been financed by the Christian Legal Centre, which often funds legal cases for Christians accused of sexual orientation discrimination.

During a two-day hearing at Bristol County Court in December, their lawyer James Dingemans QC said that if they were not allowed to retain their policy of only allowing straight married couples to share rooms, they would have to shut their hotel.

The Bulls also accused gay rights charity Stonewall of setting them up but the organisation denied this.

Stonewall said it had contacted them after another, separate complaint from a customer.

Mr Hall and Mr Preddy are each seeking £5,000 in damages.