National Secular Society welcomes Court of Appeal ruling against anti-gay Christian B&B owner

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The National Secular Society has welcomed a Court of Appeal ruling against a Christian guest house owner who refused to allow a gay couple to share the same bed.

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal dismissed Susanne Wilkinson’s latest challenge against a judgment made in October 2012 by Reading County Court.

She lost her case against Michael Black and John Morgan, who were both awarded £1,800 each in damages.

Last December the couple spoke of how they wanted to find closure from the case – but Mrs Wilkinson’s legal crusade continues.

Although dismissing her case, the Court of Appeal gave her permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The appeal, on 9 October, will be heard at the same time as that of Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who refused to let Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy share a bedroom at their guest house in Cornwall.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “These are important cases that could have wide-ranging consequences for the rights of gay people. If it is OK to cite religious conscience in order to deny them hotel rooms what other service provider might decide that they don’t want to serve gay people? Shops? Restaurants?

“It is humiliating and degrading to be treated in this way, and if Mrs Wilkinson and the Bulls don’t want to serve gay people, they shouldn’t be running a business that is open to the public.”