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These B&B owners have been punished for being faithful to Christian teaching

Where is the tolerance for which our country was once celebrated?

By on Monday, 31 January 2011

Hazel Mary Hall risks losing her home and livelihood after she and her husband refused to give a double room to a gay couple (Photo: PA)

Hazel Mary Hall risks losing her home and livelihood after she and her husband refused to give a double room to a gay couple (Photo: PA)

Everyone now knows about the case of Peter and Hazel Mary Bull, the Christian couple whose home in the Cornish village of Marazion is also run as a B&B. Refusing to give a double bedroom to civil partners Steven Preddy and Martin Hall, they fell foul of the Sexual Equality Act, were ordered to pay £3,600 compensation by the judge and now risk losing their business (and their home).

Coincidentally, the Gospel text for yesterday’s Mass was the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when people abuse and persecute you…” Just now the Bulls are probably not feeling very “blessed”; they have been punished, purely and simply, for being faithful to Christian teaching. They are not “homophobic” (whatever that means); they are not child abusers. They simply adhere to ancient Christian belief that sex is meant for marriage. Indeed, they treat unmarried heterosexuals wanting a bed for the night in the same way as they treated Preddy and Hall.

The judge told them that times had changed and that the law had moved on. An article in Saturday’s Telegraph by Judith Woods went further: she referred to their “hardline stance”, “their bizarre 1950s house rules” and described them as “narrow-minded, eccentric, singularly lacking in business nous in their batty rejection of modern mores, gay and straight”. All this gratuitously unpleasant mockery is directed at an unassuming, courageous couple who want to stick with beliefs that were held as right by common consensus for many centuries in this country – until very recently.

Some would argue that what goes on in the bedroom is nobody’s business but its occupants and that “we mustn’t judge”. But for Christians marriage is a solemn sacrament and has public repercussions; the double bed symbolises the lifelong union of the man and woman and their openness to the children that might come from the consummation in that bed. So if you are Christians running a B&B there will be an important symbolic as well as practical distinction between twin beds and double beds.
Others, probably those who have directed hate mail at them, would argue that the Bulls should shut up shop and good riddance to their “hardline”, “narrow-minded”, “batty” values. But where is the true tolerance here for which this country was once celebrated? When you read of cases like the Bulls, or that of the Christian registrar who lost her job, or the Christian foster parents rejected by their local social services, you might reasonably think that an anti-Christian ideology is at work – a kind of “secularist theocracy” referred to by Austen Ivereigh in last Saturday’s Moral Maze.

It so happens that I know a Catholic couple who run a B&B from their own home, like the Bulls. Like the Bulls they offer double bedrooms to married couples only; others are offered twin or single rooms. Like the Bulls they have reminders of their faith on the walls of their house: in their case it is crucifixes and pictures of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart. Judith Woods, although a “church-goer” (whatever that means), wrote in her article that the Christian reminders at Chymorvah, the Bull’s B&B, made her “want to run a mile”. But for the Bulls and this Catholic couple you don’t separate your faith from your life. It isn’t something you display on Sunday mornings for an hour of “church-going”; it informs your thinking and your actions every day of the week.

The difference between the Bulls and the Catholic couple is that the latter stopped advertising their B&B several years ago, fearing the very scenario that has now overwhelmed the Bulls. They simply rely on word of mouth recommendations from guests who have stayed with them and enjoyed the experience. Will this discreet filter system also come up against the Sexual Equality Act?

Why cannot this same law recognise the rights of conscience, similar to that in the Abortion Act, which allows an opt-out clause for doctors and nurses who will not take part in abortions?

  • Anonymous

    Thing are really getting bad now, and if we don’t act in whatever way we can to stop this perverse bullying to make us accept immoral laws, then we soon will not be able to do or say a thing that is not state-approved.

    I hope all bloggers will sign this petition without delay – these petitions can make a difference and this one is heading for 10 Downing Street, so please take a few seconds to sign it.
    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41726.html

  • baeda

    Has a fund been set up to assist the courageous couple?

  • Anonymous

    I am sure that will have happened but they are keen for many people to sign the petition against these dreadful sex orientation laws.
    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41726.html

  • James

    The Bulls have not been punished for being faithfull to Christian teaching. The law is not trying to force them to indulge in what they regard as immoral acts They have been punished for trying to force their teaching on other people. If they advertised themselves as an Evangelical Christian guest house, which would not be illegall, gay couples, even Christian gay couples of whom there are rather a large number, would not trouble them. Their position seems quite incongruous anyway as it implies that homosexual acts are sinful in a double bed but not in a single one!

  • James R

    no enlightened intelligent person would support the bigoted narrow minded attitude of this ignorant couple

  • Kevin

    totally agree, those two gays should start being tolerent of others instead of forcing their view point on others.

  • Chantlaura

    I beg your pardon. This couple owns a B&B – it is their *home.* “Forcing others” is the scandalous behavior of the gay lobby who wants to force upon others their pagan renaissance lifestyles in contempt of the Christian moral code which denies they have license to live as they wish no matter what.

    Really – there’s nothing heroic or ennobling about a man having his anal sphincter ripped open by another man’s … and I would not tolerate such acts to occur in my own home, either.

  • louella

    Secular governments love to promote everything that is immoral and degenerate. Thereby bringing their societies to an end! What kind of evil governance is that?!

    And the people are too blind to see what is happening. Secular education seems to disrupt their thinking processes…….and people can’t their beyond their desires and ‘rights’! They can’t even reason as to where it’s all going to lead. Too late they will learn.

  • louella

    As the Pope said…….self gratification has eclipsed reason in today’s society. In other words……secular society has become stupified!

  • Mary Lau

    If our law says it is Ok for a man to have sex with another man what is going to stop the law to say soon that incess relationship is also OK! It is a slippery slope we are on. We can always find justifications for any acts. Just because we can’t help ourselves it doesn’t mean it is right. We all have to struggle with temptations, passions and we do things we know we shouldn’t do as St. Paul’s said ‘My spirit is strong but my body is weak’. But with prayers and determination to imitate Christ and with the grace of God we can
    do and be who we are meant to be. Christians should always ask ourselves before doing anything ‘ what would Jesus do’. I don’t think Jesus would condemn gays but I don’t think He will condone their sexual acts.
    Noone can stop you doing anything in private but don’t say something is natural when it is not because it is a lie and the govt. is lying to our children by teaching them in schools that sex between two men or two women natural. Sex education should also show our children videos of abortion, videos of babies in the womb so that they know the consequence of the choice they have to make. We are not bigoted narrow minded people but people who wants the best for the society as a whole.

  • Profidebookstore

    Those two people have their conscience and religion, and this country is supposed to stand for the freedom of conscience and religion, which the two cannot freely live if the low of the country forbids them to live in Christian way as they conceive it. They have their own property and if they let two homosexuals to use their premises to live in as homosexuals, they violate their conscience because they cooperate in what they believe they must not cooperate. One may agree with them or disagree, but the law cannot claim to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, and at the same time violate it.

    It is more than evident that we Christians are approaching the time of martyrdom, and our bishops must take congniscence of it, stop sitting on a fence, and face the fact that, if they want to learn something from the Gospel they are supposed to preach, they should learn something from the cowardice of the first hierarchy, all of whom, but one, ran away when their faith was put on test…,to give us a lead, instead of sitting in their armchairs doing nothing but preaching luv.

    To change the subject, the homosexuals are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and their situation is tragic, as it is that of milions of others who for various reasons cannot marry. Why God permits it we do not know, but we know what is compatible or incompatible with our moral code,

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlPP82eHnw6C2D0bwKE05Lz6N5qlpizL10 Jacob

    How bout fags can open their own B&Bs and they can tell me I can only stay in one of their rooms if I make a bondage homo film..

    I promise I won’t take it to the high court…I’ll go stay the Christian B&B and enjoy the signs of Christ and skip their homo B&B experience.

    They can keep their hands off of our B&Bs and we’ll keep our hands off of their B&Bs!

    (Alas, the gestapo is too smart for us and we’ll have to keep practicing our religion in secret.)

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlPP82eHnw6C2D0bwKE05Lz6N5qlpizL10 Jacob

    This is the problem…when you’re brainwashed from the time you’re 4 years old you will believe whatever the secular Nazis tell you because that’s all you have ever known.

  • Libertarian

    If it’s OK for B&B owners to turn away a black or Irish or Jewish couple, then it’s OK for them to turn away a gay couple,

    If it isn’t, it isn’t. The two things are exactly the same,

  • Anonymous

    That was precisely what they did do. It was an attempt by the gay couple at the behest of their pressure group to test out whether claiming your hotel was Christian, could prevail against the equality laws. I don’t see how it is unchristian to comply with equality laws and therefore allow a gay couple to have a room. I just cannot see that it is condoning genital behaviour between males.

  • louella

    Homosexual behaviour is a sin…….being black, Irish or Jewish isn’t!

    They are completely different!

  • louella

    I haven’t heard that before……’secular Nazis’……but that is exactly what they are turning into!

  • Anonymous

    Visit a few “gay” websites Librarian, and see how very remote they are from any blacks, Irish or Jewish people you’ve ever met.

  • Anonymous

    I once knew a headteacher of a huge secondary school in the north west of England, (now deceased) who told me he’d been through the war, served in the army, been to school, college, university and then the world of work, and never even HEARD of homosexuality.

    That’s how “brainwashed” he was at the age of 4 years old. Get a grip.

  • Anonymous

    Is this the voice of “tolerance” speaking? Is this someone who values “diversity”? Is this the voice of an “enlightened” person?

    I have watched this unfolding of the homosexual agenda for years and I’m sick to the back teeth of their whingeing. Instead of respecting the B & B owners’ decision – and right – to decide who will stay in their guest house and their right not to have fornicators or sodomites sharing a double bed, what do they do? Why, what they always do. They take them to court, they set out to destroy their livelihood
    and our pussy-cat courts are played like the fiddle they are (pun fully intended.)

    YOU are a bigot, James R – and your like – not the couple with the conscience who refused to be complicit in the breaking of God’s law in their own home.

  • Anonymous

    I do agree that to be truly consistent, they ought to have offered only single rooms. Me,I’d have insisted on locking them in just to be sure!

  • Anonymous

    When I have had unmarried couples visiting me who required to stay overnight, I explained that I could not possibly allow them a double bed or even the same room. I didn’t win any popularity contests and I’m sure they moaned that I was imposing my view or beliefs on them, but that’s too bad. Any sins of fornication they’ve committed, were not committed under my roof. Whether you agree or not, AndyFrankphile,.to provide the means of committing sin, is to be complicit in that sin.

  • Anonymous

    It is good to learn of the heroic virtues of members of ones own church although rarely does one hear of it from the virtuous themselves. Journalism is a profession which often requires the first stone to be thrown and when it is pro virtute, there may be much rejoicing. But why is it that newspapers catholic, protestant or atheist from the UK always sound so self righteous? It is good to live in a country where catholic lay people are less ready to condemn conduct by other lay people.

  • Anonymous

    AndyFrankophile,

    I did not mean my post to be an advertisement for any imagined “virtue” of mine – I mentioned my refusal to allow visiting non-married couples to share a bed under my roof, merely to underline that it is very basic morality. Just as I wouldn’t allow relatives or friends to use my home to plan a murder or a robbery, so I would and could not permit my home to be used for the wilful breaking of God’s laws on sexual morality. Truthfully, there is no “virtue” on my part – elementary duty, no more.

    Still, I hope Government sources don’t read this or I could end up in trouble myself!

  • Anonymous

    So long as he did the same to a remarried divorced catholic. What he does in the privacy of his own home is besides of no concern to the State unless he is taking in paying guests. These are hard times.

  • Bridget

    Sodomy is a sin and we all know what happened in the bible story in the Old testament.
    God Bless this couple and I hope that they will be able to pay the bill and get legal help to fight this case against them.

  • Terry Wilson

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF I CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THIS VERY BRAVE AND COMMITTED CHRISTIAN COUPLES COURT COSTS. THEY ARE AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL. I WISH PEOPLE WOULD STOP MISS INTERPRETING WHAT THE BULLS ARE DOING. EVEN MARY KENNY IN HER ARTICLE GOT IT WRONG.AS I SEE IT, THEY ARE NOT CONDEMMING GAY OR ANY OTHER PEOPLE. THEY ARE SIMPLY SAYING THAT , AS COMMITTED CHRISTIANS, THEY HAVE CERTAIN HOUSE RULES. I AM SURE THERE ARE MANY OTHER PLACES THAT THIS GAY COUPLE COULD HAVE CHOSEN INSTEAD. A NEWSPAPER REPORTER IN MY AREA PUT INTO THE INTERNET, GAY ONLY HOTELS AND IT CAME UP WITH THOUSANDS, BUT THAT SEEMS TO BE OK. I AM OF THE OPINION THAT THE BULLS WERE TARGETED TO PUNISH THEM. I THINK IF THIS IS THE CASE IT IS DISGUSTING. AND THEY HAVE PUBLIC MONEY TO FIGHT THEIR CASE TO BOOT.

  • Torkay

    State-sponsored crimes like this expose the real purpose of such deceptive terms as “tolerance” and “inclusion.” That purpose is not compassion, fairness, and equality, but to destroy the social hegemony of Christian values and replace them with hedonism, perversion, paganism and anarchy. It is nothing more than totalitarianism, attempting to masquerade as enlightenment.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Agreed, Torkay. Spot, absolutely, on!

  • Terry Wilson

    Well said Mary Lau, I totally agree with you

  • Terry wilson

    I would like to contribute to this course Baeda

  • Liturgy

    I do not think we can ASSUME that because any two people sleep in a bed that anything sexual is going on. I slept in a bed with a priest at a hotelin Belgium because there was but one room left and it had but one bed. Believe me, nothing sexual went on and we’re both men. So, I believe the inkeepers are at fault for judging. It is a sleeping arrangement, that is all.

  • Liturgy

    Here are some questions: Would you allow people to drink in your home? Gossip in your home? Use the Lord’s name in your home? Would you allow uncharitable conversation in your home? Would you allow eating more than needes sustenance in your home? All these things, too, are potentially sinful. Being homosexual is not sinful; we must distinguish between the act and the person. Did the men disclose they were to have sexual relations in the B&B or simply sleep there? Again, it comes down to a seamless application of christian morality. Or is it simply a pick and choose which sins we will not allow in our homes?
    Every act contrary to Catholic Social Teaching is potentially sinful as is not honoring father and mother; yet, would we dismiss a son or daughter from the home despite their sinful attitudes toward a parent?

  • Mary Lau

    Have signed the petition but do we get an answer or acknowledgement from the govt./MP. Would like to hear what they have to say about including videos on abortion in school sex education.

  • Anonymous

    Mary Lau,

    If these petitions attract sufficient support (and they require a LOT of signatures – thousands) then the government does look at them, I’m reliably informed.

    Painful as it is to hear, I’m afraid the government would have no problems with the videos you mention. They are literally Hell-bent on getting their anti-life message across in schools and anything goes. Also, unfortunately, the public have been so successfully brainwashed that very few people can think for themselves. If it’s somebody’s “choice” to do just about anything, then that’s OK with the government. Unless, of course,you are one of those “extremists” who think that the new politically correct absolutes are wrong. YOU are a bigot, then, and must be silenced.

    Hence the couple at the centre of this discussion!

  • Profidebookstore

    You are rignt, but the case was not that of your experience as the events showed subequently. Surely, the two Christians knew it; otherwise, they wouldn’t have put at risk their livelihood. And one must not take for “sexual” the homosexual act in a narrow sense only. Surely, if you, a normal man, go to bad with a woman who attracts you, the sexual is much more of what happens in bed than merely the intercourse. And if you were not certain that the priest was heterosexual, you might have brought him into temptation to sin.

  • Profidebookstore

    The petition is ambiguous: the first paragraph can be understood as if the petitioners favour discrimination. It would be necessary to specify that the petition is not against homosexuals’ orientation, but in their relationship in so far as it affects their own Christian conscience. While it is unrealistic to expect from everybody to accept Christian morality as their own, it is discriminatory to impose the anti-Christian morality on Christians. I would sing the petition if it is amended accordingly.

  • Anonymous

    The petition is about the sexual orientation laws. Non-Christians are just as opposed to them. Homosexuals are every bit as offended at the idea that their “orientation” is a sin as they are that their activities are sinful.

    Stop making excuses and sign the petition unless you are happy to have the Thought Police at your door one of these days, when you make the distinction between “orientation” and “action.” The wording of the petition is not going to be amended to suit your nitpicking. Get on with it.

  • Ryan

    Humans are creatures with Taboos. And for many people homosexuality remains taboo. People should be allowed to act according to their conscience or convictions religious or secular.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EdiorCT

    Here’s a statement from the petition organiser which I’ve just received by email:

    The reality is that we need at least 100,000 signatories by around the end of April 2011 (but I am prepared to let it run for as long as it takes), in order to qualify for Mr Cameron’s “big society” idea of allowing the silent majority to have a say in legislation rather than that of the small, militant, loud minorities who presently believe they can dominate society with oppressive legislation such as the SORs. After over a month, however, we have only 3000. The opposition must hold us in derision. But if each signatory were to successfully persuade 10 others to sign up, and those signatories in turn managed to get another 10, this would already be 300,000… and so on.

  • guest

    Isn’t it ironic that in a liberal society, we are no longer free to hold our own opinions. This couple said clearly on their website that they had a ‘not married, no double bed’ policy. This homosexual couple obviously wanted to set a precedent that would set in motion a redefinition of the word “marriage”- until 2000 ( ie.for a very, very, long time) this was “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife”. Now that civil partnerships have been accepted, under the guise of sorting out the rights of homosexuals to inherit from their partners (could they not just write a will), we are being rushed into seeing them as “marriages”. Of course, the next big thing will be civil partnership divorces, and the general public will
    be expected to provide the funds for legal aid for these.

  • Anonymous

    To which couple do you refer?

  • Anonymous

    You are free to hold, and express, your own opinions (and those of other people if you wish). You just can’t discriminate between paying customers, no matter what’s on your website. Putting “No blacks or Irish” on your website doesn’t cover you legally. Gays are also human now.

  • Anonymous

    The Pope has gratified his own desire as much as any other person on the planet, but what he desires is to tell other people how to live their lives when it is none of his business.
    The only alternative to secular society is theocracy (ie. rule by priests). We tried that before. Lots of people got needlessly burnt, without the benefit of being stupefied first.

  • Anonymous

    “People should be allowed to act according to their conscience or convictions religious or secular”. You’re an anarchist then?

  • Anonymous

    When I have sex with my boyfriend, who’s harmed? Where’s the sin? In the mind of the god in your mind?

  • Anonymous

    When I have sex with my boyfriend, who’s harmed? Where’s the sin? In the mind of the god in your mind?

  • Anonymous

    Who are these secular Nazis? Do they have secular concentration camps in which they hope to exterminate all the supporters of theocracy? It is tempting to believe that your own opinions are self-formed but contrary opinions are the result of brainwashing. I’m an atheist but was not brought up to be so.

  • Anonlegion

    Im not christian or religious in anyway. I do disagree with homosexuality in general but that aside i feel that this whole case was a joke. Seriously 2 people are suing someone for not agreeing with their beliefs and demanding those people are punished for practicing their own beliefs. What this says to me is all these equality laws are pointless as there is still clearly hierarchy of beliefs and some are held superior to others. The fact that these gays are now coming back for a 2nd helping of compensation is sickening and shows their character.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/JUDMckcFgsuVyZoe8B_6lvjP079aqBs-#419ec sharkticon

    Shame on u, Christians! Where’s the love your jesus taught u? I was a Christian, now am a proud EX Christian! The reason coz I’m sick of your homophobic hatred although most deny by saying “we only hate the sin, not the sinner”.

    From what I gather:
    * Christians discriminating gay = following god’s order, morality, religion tolerance
    * Gays defending themselves against Christians = religion persecution/ intolerance/ discrimination.

    jesus must b proud of you guys! Love your neighbors, hate the gays.