News today that Judge Rutherford has ruled in favour of a gay couple at the centre of a discrimination case, has left me feeling that there may be hope for the world yet. Or at least the UK. I’m also sure that Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy are both feeling pretty good about the ruling too.
As I’ve previously blogged, the Mr Hall and Mr Preddy had tried to stay at a B&B near Penzance, Cornwall in 2008, but were refused their room when they came to stay at the B&B. The Christian owners of the B&B, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, had refused them their room because they did not give double-rooms to unmarried couples due to their particular brand of Christian beliefs. However, Mr Hall and Mr Preddy were legally acknowledged as a couple at the time, because they had a civil partnership.
The Christian Institute, who had been supporting Mr and Mrs Bull’s side of the case, have been predictably irked by the ruling. According to the BBC, Mike Judge from The Christian Institute said:
“This ruling is further evidence that equality laws are being used as a sword rather than a shield.
“Peter and Hazelmary were sued with the full backing of the government-funded Equality Commission.
“Christians are being sidelined. The judge recognises that his decision has a profound impact on the religious liberty of Peter and Hazelmary.”
And thus the return to Christians as victims rhetoric slips in yet again. If Preddy and Hall are “married” (go to this blogpost to see relevant rant) in the only way that homosexuals can be legally recognised as doing in the UK, then the Bulls should not have refused the couple their room.
The fact that there are some Christian denominations (however minor) that are fine with gay people who have eloped to the best of their legal rights, is of course ignored by The Christian Institute. You know why? Because even as an atheist, I understand that a group like that could never speak for all Christians. They certainly don’t speak for this guy:
And just what about people who are “married”, but come from other religions? (Let alone straight unmarried couples who don’t believe in marriage.) I’m sorry, but the Bulls don’t have a leg to stand on.
Sadly, the Bulls may still appeal the ruling.