Christian hotel owners to appeal ruling

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The Christian hotel owners who refused to let a gay couple share a room are appealing against the ruling.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who own the Chymorvah Private Hotel near Penzance, were found to have acted unlawfully when denying civil partners Martin Hall and Steven Preddy a room.

The hoteliers were ordered to pay the gay couple £1,800 in compensation each at a hearing last week.

According to the BBC, they are now set to appeal the ruling, with the financial backing of the Christian Institute.

A statement on the Christian group’s website said: “A date has not yet been set for a hearing but the Court of Appeal is expected to examine the case later this year.

“The Christian Institute has agreed to fund the appeal. Spokesman Mike Judge said it is important for the higher courts to examine the finely balanced legal points.”

Judge Rutherford, at Bristol crown court, ruled that the Bulls had directly discriminated against the gay couple on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

Mr and Mrs Bull argued that they barred all unmarried couples from sharing rooms but the gay couple claimed that a straight couple could pretend to be married.

Mr Hall and Mr Preddy’s case was funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, while the Bulls’ defence was funded by the Christian Institute.