I’ve just read an article from the Dail Mail that was tweeted by Tessa Kendal, who blogs for The Lay Scientist. And I just felt like sticking my oar in.The Daily Mail article can be found here. Briefly, it states that Peter and Hazelmary Bull who run a B&B in Cornwall have christian values that they have chosen to reflect in their business. One of their policies is that they will not let a double room to unmarried couples. This was stated, but in small print, on their website (probably updated since 2008) here. In September 2008 civil partners Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall chose to book a double room at the B&B but were dissapointed to find on their arrival that they would not be allowed to share a room, and as there were no other twin or single rooms available were given their deposit and turned away. The couple have decided to sue for £5,000 in damages against the Bulls, complaining that they were being discriminated against.
My feelings on this are that running your B&B with christian values should surely not be a problem so long as it harms no one. Now if I don’t want to watch Songs of Praise on the TV then I turn it off. I don’t believe in god, so I choose not to go to church. I know that if I go to an abbatoir I will find it offensive, so I don’t go. If you don’t want to abide by someone else’s moral code at their B&B then don’t go there. It’s a choice.
Now I’m aware that under the law or not there is some discrimination occurring here, I think we all know that the christian religion is full of discrimination and bigotry. It would be nice (but fanciful) to think that this bigotry would just go away, but it won’t, not for a long time. In the meantime we can highlight the bigotry and be instrumental in the gradual decline of the organizations that promote bigotry and oppression through dogma and fear. But when people like the Bulls are attacked (and there is a hint that a gay rights group may be involved and the Bulls were targetted) and possibly financially ruined for upholding what they believe to be high moral standards are we becoming the bullies? Attacking the organizations that perpetuate and uphold these out of date and potentially dangerous ideals is surely the better moral route to take. Targetting and attacking individuals will achieve nothing, changing the policies and dogma at the top will…eventually.