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Civil rights: Gay couple in Christian hotel ban win damages

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A gay couple were awarded over £3,000 compensation after they were refused a room by two Christian hotel owners.

Judge Andrew Rutherford ruled Peter and Hazelmary Bull were acting unlawfully when they refused Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy a room in September 2008.

Hall and Preddy, from Bristol, were awarded £1,800 in damages after the ruling at Bristol County Court. They were claiming sexual orientation discrimination under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007.

Peter Bull, 70, and his wife, 66, said their policy stood since they bought the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion near Penzance in 1986. They argue their ban is based on their beliefs about marriage and not opposing sexual orientation.

Mrs Bull said: "We accept that the Bible is the holy living word of God and we endeavour to follow it as far as we are able. We have a kind of routine we go through with folk. It is never our intention to offend so we try to make it as gracious and as helpful as we can."

The couple had also suffered the vilification of the media, argued James Dingemans QC, representing Mr and Mrs Bull.

The Bulls' legal defence was supported by the Christian Institute. Hall and Preddy were backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

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