UK Court Upholds Fine Against Christian Hotel Owners

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A court of appeals in the United Kingdom on Feb. 17 upheld a $5,800 fine imposed last year against a Christian couple for refusing to rent a room to a homosexual couple.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull have owned the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Cornwall, England, for 25 years. They don't rent rooms to unmarried couples -- straight or gay.

In January of 2011, a judge ordered them to pay damages to Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall after the Bull's wouldn't rent the gay couple a room.

The couple appealed, citing their policy renting rooms only to married couples. They said they were unwilling to compromise their biblical principles.

The Bull's told the appellate court they believe sex outside of marriage is amoral and that renting a room with one bed to an unmarried couple would be "promoting a sin."

Simon Calvert, spokesman for The Christian Institute, an organization that helped fund the Bulls' appeal, said after Friday's ruling that the septuagenarian couple had been wrongfully convicted and their values compromised.

"Peter and Hazelmary have been penalized for their beliefs about marriage," Calvert told reporters. "Not everyone will agree with Peter and Hazelmary's beliefs, but a lot of people will think it is shame that the law doesn't let them live and work according to their own values under their own roof," he said

"Something has gone badly wrong with our equality laws when good, decent people like Peter and Hazelmary are penalized, but extremist hate preachers are protected," he said.

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