Will Gay only B&Bs be forced to close under equality ruling?

Yesterday’s ruling in court that hotel owners cannot discriminate on grounds of sexuality puts many Gay only hotels on the wrong side of the law.

Although the ruling is a small victory for the two men claiming to be upset by not being able to stay at the B&B they’d booked, the ruling opens gay hotels to the same charge of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

This is a list of hotels practising discrimination against heterosexuals today:

Chaps Hotel, Blackpool.
Gabrielle’s Hotel, Blackpool.
Guyz Hotel, Blackpool. (which I featured in my post of 13th December)
Legends Hotel, Brighton.
Key West Resort, Torquay.
Bags (accommodation service), Blackpool.
Pride Lodge, Blackpool
Wilcot Hotel, Blackpool.
Cliff House Hotel, Torquay.
Mardis Gras Hotel, Blackpool.
The Astor Hotel, Blackpool.
Victoria Gay Hostel, London.
I stopped searching after 3 pages on Google, but there must be more which could fall foul of the law.

Will the Equality and Human Rights Commission act quickly and justly to address the legal requirement for all hotels in the UK to offer their services to all people regardless of sexual orientation?  That hotel hotels must simply be hotels. Or will the ruling yesterday be seen as an act of gross hypocrisy, exposing the bigotry of a government funded body set up to fight for equality for all? Will this case simply expose the fact that “equal” rights legislation is impossible to implement fairly and is only really a means for the tyranny of the majority?

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2 Responses to Will Gay only B&Bs be forced to close under equality ruling?

  1. étrangère says:

    I thought the charge wasn’t on the basis of sexuality, but on the basis that legally, civil partnerships must have the same rights as marriage. So technically, I think the B&B could still disallow non-married, non-civil partnered couples (of either gender or sexual orientation) a double room. They weren’t being sued for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but for discrimination in not treating a civil partnership as marriage legally. The judge acknowledged that, in saying that he acknowledged that they wouldn’t have an unmarried heterosexual couple staying in a double room, either. Or do I misunderstand?

    I don’t disagree with you on the general principle, I just think they may have got round this one legally.

  2. neilrobbie says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I guess the answer to my question then is, “no” unless the legal playing field is moved to the right of hotel owners to appeal to niche markets. Doesn’t this highlight the impossibility of a just and fair equality legislation? The rights of one party will always trump the rights of another and the only solution the judge could cite was the tyranny of the majority.

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