‘Heterosexual friendly’ B&B removes anti-gay symbol after Equalities Commission probe

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A B&B in Scotland has removed an anti-gay marriage message from its website after action from the Scotland Equalities Commission.

PinkNews reported last year that the Scottish highlands bed and breakfast Cromasaig had advertised itself as a “Family and Heterosexual Friendly B&B” – with a logo clarifying: “1 Man + 1 Woman = Marriage”,

After PinkNews enquired about the B&B’s policy towards same-sex couples, the owner called the police alleging harassment from “gay activists”.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) later launched a probe of the B&B, after receiving several complaints about its discriminatory practices.
‘Heterosexual friendly’ B&B removes anti-gay symbol after Equalities Commission probe

After the B&B ignored a request to remove the discriminatory language, the EHRC opened legal action.

However, the EHRC confirmed today that the owners of Cromasaig Bed and Breakfast have “now voluntarily removed the phrases and the Court action has therefore been halted”.

The website now reads: “We are a small family-run, family orientated B & B, we trust that our highland style of hospitality can make your stay both comfortable and relaxed.”

Lynn Welsh, Head of Legal in Scotland, said: “I am pleased that the owners of Cromasaig Bed and Breakfast have agreed to remove these phrases. Removing the phrases will have no negative impact on their business, and alleviates EHRC’s concerns.”

However, B&B owner Tom Forrest has previously claimed he would turn away gay couples.

He told STV in 2010: “I will refuse point blank to allow them to share a double bed. I do not approve of the homosexual act and any act of intercourse should be between a man and a woman. It’s nothing to do with the bible, it’s to do with nature.

“We’re not running a business for corporate guests. We have people into our house, we have dinner with them, we learn about each other. Many become friends.

“Indeed, there are homosexual people who have become friends, who say they would not insult us by insisting on sharing a bed in our house and come in support of what we have done.

“I feel it’s about time that people decided to live and let live. What you want to do under your own roof is your own business. What I want to happen under my own roof should also be my business.”

A famous English court case concerns a B&B that discriminated against a gay couple.

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

Judges twice ruled that Peter and Hazelmary Bull broke equality laws in the running of their business.

It was ruled that the Bulls’ behaviour amounted to direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, and awarded a total of £3,600 damages to Mr Hall and Mr Preddy.

The Bulls appealed to the Supreme Court with the help of anti-LGBT Christian charities – but again lost out.

At the time, some senior Conservatives called for a change in the law to accommodate religious discrimination.