Call for prayer for Christian guesthouse owners being sued by gay couple

The Christian Institute is appealing for prayer ahead of a court hearing next week on the case of Christian guesthouse owners who refused to accommodate a homosexual couple.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull run a married couple only policy on all double rooms at their guesthouse, the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion, Cornwall.

They are being taken to court by civil partners Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall, who booked a double room at the hotel in September 2008 but were turned away when the hotel manager, Bernie Quinn, realised that the booking had not been made for a heterosexual couple.

Mr Preddy and Mr Hall are suing the couple on the grounds that the policy discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation. If successful, they could receive up to £5,000 in damages.

The case is due to be heard next Monday and Tuesday at Bristol County Court.

The Bulls implemented the policy because of their Christian view of marriage and enforce it with heterosexual as well as homosexual unmarried couples.

A note on their website reads: “Here at Chymorvah we have few rules, but please note that as Christians we have a deep regard for marriage (being the union of one man to one woman for life to the exclusion of all others). Therefore, although we extend to all a warm welcome to our home, our double bedded accommodation is not available to unmarried couples – Thank you.”

Their legal defence is being funded by the Christian Institute, which believes that the Bulls are entitled to lay down policies about who stays at their guesthouse.

“The guesthouse is not just a business, it is also Mr and Mrs Bull’s own home,” said Christian Institute director Colin Hart.

“This case could determine whether Christians are permitted to operate B&Bs that restrict double bed accommodation to married couples.”

He asked Christians to pray that the judge would come to a “just decision” and for the Christian Institute legal team.