Today (17 September) the discrimination case of Michael Black and John Morgan was heard in Reading County Court. The couple were refused accommodation at a Berkshire Bed and Breakfast in March 2010.
The couple, who booked by email and paid a deposit, were turned away by the owner when they arrived at the B&B. Despite protestations from Mr Black that this could be unlawful discrimination, the owner refused to allow the couple to stay as it was “against her convictions”.
James Welch, the legal director of Liberty, said: "A business with a "no gays policy" is as bad as one that says "no blacks; no Irish". Liberty defends the rights of religious groups to manifest their beliefs, even when we disagree with them, but not to discriminate in the provision of goods and services."
The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 made it unlawful for service providers to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation. These regulations have now been replaced and effectively re-enacted by the Equality Act 2010.