Welsh Christian Mayor bans gay couples from using B&B double rooms

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The Christian Party Mayor of Llandrindod Wells says European judges should allow him the right to refuse same-sex couples from sharing a double room at his B&B.

Councillor Jeff Green, leader of the Christian Party in Wales, runs the Highland Moors guesthouse with his wife, Sue, in Llandrindod Wells, Mid Wales.

“It all started with a letter from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) who said they had received a complaint about a line on our website which said we had double rooms for married couples,” said Councillor Green.

“We agreed to remove this from our website and suddenly the complaint completely vanished.”

The EHRC dropped the complaint after the Greens changed their policy to no longer provide a double bed in any room but offer twin rooms with separate single beds.

The couple are now taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Councillor Green said: “We believe that the rights outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights are an illusion in the UK, so we have to go to Europe because we don’t have a fighting chance in the UK courts.”

Sue Green added: “We have no recollection of ever refusing accommodation to same-sex couples and the EHRC gives no evidence of a complaint in its letter.

“We have asked the EHRC to identify their evidence and source of complaint.

“It would be a matter of deep concern if a public authority is simply scanning websites with the intention of confronting Christian businesses which want to conduct their activities in line with their beliefs.”

The Christian Legal Centre is supporting the couple.

CLC Chief Executive Andrea Minichiello Williams, known for defending anti-gay Christians in their efforts to discriminate, said: “Debate over sexual morality has been allowed to become a battlefield and we are concerned about the attempt to clamp down and even exclude Christian beliefs on the issue from public life.

“In this case, no evidence has been presented to show that anyone has been denied a service from the Greens.  It is disturbing that the couple have been forced to change their business model, have been targeted, and now face oppression from the State to deny how they live out their faith.

“At the Christian Legal Centre we have many cases in which Christians have lost jobs, faced discipline or been denied services. When will the State champion their cause?”

In November 2013, the UK Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge by Peter and Hazelmary Bull.

Civil partners Martin Hall and Steven Preddy, from Bristol, were turned away from the Chymorvah Hotel near Penzance in 2008 under the Bulls’ policy of not allowing unmarried couples to share rooms.

Judges had already twice ruled the Bulls broke equality laws in the running of their business.