The Christian hotelier found guilty of gay bias looks set to lose her home and asks: So who's really being persecuted?By Helen Weathers
Christian hotel owner Hazelmary Bull has certainly had her faith tested to the limit this week.
In despair: Hazelmary Bull faces financial ruin after being sued for not allowing a gay couple to share a double room
Yesterday, she was planning to make a four-hour round trip to visit her desperately ill husband Peter, 71, in hospital, where he is recovering from a triple heart bypass and valve replacement surgery.
How, she fretted, was she going to tell him that they were teetering on the brink of financial ruin? That there was little hope now of hangi
ng on to the Cornish guesthouse they’d owned for 25 years; the home they’d poured not only their life savings into, but also their heart and souls. In the end, 66-year-old Hazelmary just couldn’t bring herself to do it.
On Tuesday, Peter was undergoing a nine-hour operation at the exact moment his wife of 47 years was sitting in Bristol County Court waiting to hear their fate.
In a landmark ruling, which will have far-reaching implications for many Christians in Britain, Judge Rutherford ordered the Bulls to pay civil partners Martyn Hall, 46, and Steven Preddy, 38, £1,800 each in compensation for refusing to allow the couple to stay in a double room at their hotel.
The gay couple, IT workers from Bristol, sued the Bulls for £5,000 in damages under the Equality Act (Sexuality Orientation) Regulations 2007, after they were turned away from seven-bedroom Chymorvah House, near Penzance, in September 2008.
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