John Morgan and Michael Black
A British gay couple have won a discrimination case after two and half years against a bed and breakfast that turned them away in 2010 because they are gay.
The Reading County Court found in favour of Michael Black, 64, and John Morgan, 59, and ordered the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Berkshire to pay them Â£1,800 each for “injury to feelings”.
The two men made the accommodation booking over the internet but when they arrived at the B&B, owner Susanne Wilkinson refused to let them stay in a room with a double bed.
Recorder Claire Moulder said that Wilkinson had “treated them less favourably than she would treat unmarried heterosexual couples in the same circumstances”.
The BBC reported that Wilkinson reacted to the ruling by saying that she and her husband were disappointed to have lost the case.
“We believe a person should be free to act upon their sincere beliefs about marriage under their own roof without living in fear of the law. Equality laws have gone too far when they start to intrude into a family home,” she said.
Black, however, said that the ruling felt “like a triumph”, adding, “It’s taken two and a half years to get this far so to get the judgement and be vindicated in it is a great feeling”.
A similar case, involving the Christian owners of a guesthouse in Marazion in Cornwall, will be heard by the Supreme Court in late 2013 or early 2014 after the owners appealed a ruling against them.
Wilkinson said that she is also considering appealing the ruling against her.