Cornwall hotel owners guilty of unlawful discrimination

Stonewall today welcomed a decision by the Court of Appeal to uphold a landmark court ruling in favour of a couple refused a hotel room by the owners of a hotel in Cornwall.

Civil Partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy had been turned away from the Chymorvah Hotel near Penzance in 2010 by owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull. In January 2011 a judge at Bristol County Court ruled that the Bulls’ behaviour amounted to direct discrimination, and awarded a total of £3,600 damages to Mr Hall and Mr Preddy.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: ‘We’re delighted that the Court upheld the judgment. The Court’s decision vindicates Stonewall’s hard lobbying to make it illegal to deny goods or services to someone just because they happen to be gay. That obviously includes hotel rooms for many gay holidaymakers, which can only be a good thing in a Jubilee year. I hope Mr and Mrs Bull will now feel content to go home to do God’s good work as Easter approaches, instead of relentlessly pursuing a happy couple through the courts.’

Stonewall led lobbying to secure the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007 (now consolidated in the Equality Act 2010) that made discrimination against gay people in the delivery of public and commercial services unlawful.

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