Christian B&B owners reject Nick Griffin comments
Christian B&B owners have spoken in support of a gay couple being targeted by far-right party leader Nick Griffin.
Susanne Wilkinson and her husband Mike have expressed their "sympathy" with Michael Black and John Morgan despite the couple taking them to court.
A judge this week ordered the Wilkinsons to pay £3,600 in damages to Mr Black and Mr Morgan for refusing to let them stay in a double room at the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire.
Their B&B policy applied to unmarried heterosexual couples but the judge ruled that the policy had broken equality laws by discriminating against Mr Black and Mr Morgan.
Following the court hearing, British National Party leader took to Twitter to publish the home address of Mr Black and Mr Morgan, and call on BNP supporters to rally against them.
The far-right MEP tweeted: "A British Justice team will come up to (their address) and & give you (Mr Black and Mr Morgan) a ... bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple's home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!"
In a statement, the Wilkinsons said: “We would like to express our sympathy with the homosexual couple Michael Black and John Morgan.
“We know how it feels to have your address publicised and to receive constant threats, unpleasant statements and misunderstanding.
“Our Christian faith centres on the amazing and undeserved love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all mankind.
“Although Michael and John have chosen to take us to court we bear them no malice. On the contrary we pray for them and for their protection.”
The Christian Institute funded Mrs Wilkinson’s legal defence.
Spokesman for the organisation, Mike Judge said: “This is despicable and nasty behaviour by Nick Griffin.
“Michael Black, John Morgan and Susanne Wilkinson have a genuine disagreement about the B&B case, but they have always been polite and reasonable in their differences.
“That’s how a proper lawful debate should be conducted. Susanne was herself targeted by a hate campaign which included threats to burn her house down. She had police patrols protecting her for several months.
“She knows what it’s like to feel threatened and I’m sure her heart goes out to Michael and John. Which ever side of the debate people are on, there is no need for this kind of behaviour.
“All it’s done is shift the focus away from the important debate about equality and civil liberty – a debate which our country needs and one which ought to be conducted in a respectful and civilised manner.”