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Penzance hoteliers facing bankruptcy after discriminating against gay guests

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: January 24, 2011

Peter  and Hazelmary Bull

Peter and Hazelmary Bull

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The Christian hoteliers who were fined for not allowing a gay couple to share a double room say they are facing financial ruin and may lose their home and business.

Hazelmary Bull said she and husband Peter are in debt, unable to pay their mortgage and risk facing further prosecution if they stand by their religious views.

She also revealed she has received more than 50 obscene and abusive phone calls since the landmark court decision last week.

Civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy were awarded £1,800 each after being denied a double room under the Bulls' policy of allowing only married couples to share a bed in the Penzance hotel that is also their home.

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The Bulls argued that, as devout Christians, they let their double rooms only to heterosexual married couples and that their beliefs prevented them from allowing same-sex couples to share a double bed.

Speaking to the Daily Mail on Saturday, Mrs Bull said that she did not want to tell husband Peter, 71, about the decision as he was still in hospital following a triple heart bypass and valve replacement surgery.

She said: "I want to hold back for a little while, because he's so ill. He doesn't know because the hospital has kept him sedated for two days.

"The uncertainty of the future would take Peter down. He doesn't cope well with stress.

"I feel so upset. I don't want us to leave Chymorvah like this. It feels like we are being driven out.

"We have put everything into it and if we lose it we'll be left with nothing. We'll have no money to buy a new home and who will give us a mortgage at our age?"

The Bulls bought the property in 1986 for £81,000 and ploughed the money they'd made from their first B&B in Cornwall into it, renovating and updating the building.

They now say they are incapable of paying their £2,800-a-month mortgage, and have come to an agreement with their lender to pay less for now.

But Mrs Bull said that with the hotel closed since Christmas and not due to re-open until Easter it will become impossible to meet.

"Our lenders have been very sympathetic, but there will come a time when we will either have to sell or, if that doesn't happen in this gloomy market, lose our home," she said.

"Even if we do reopen, things will be very tricky, because we are not prepared to compromise our beliefs. I would not be able to look God in the eye if I did."

Mrs Bull said that as well as more than 400 messages of support, they had also been bombarded by abusive messages and people claiming to be gay couples trying to make bookings.

"Christians are definitely being marginalised," she added. "There is no question about it and we have to be careful that we don't exchange one brand of oppression for another."

The hoteliers had their legal battle funded by charity The Christian Institute, and are considering appealing the court's decision.

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    Pearl, Plymouth  |  February 02 2011, 4:37PM

    @ Redruth man however what that English king got up to was nothing compared to what certain priests of another religious denomination have been getting up to with impunity from their head office and leader (GOD's representative on Earth ) who kept it all quiet and internal and still believes it was acceptable behaviour back then , we are talking of the institutional rape and abuse of children , now that really is perverse .

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    Pearl, Plymouth  |  February 02 2011, 4:31PM

    Christian couple to sue gay couple http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s1i89979

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    Redruth man, Redruth  |  February 02 2011, 12:07PM

    Bearing in mind that the Church of England was set up due to the sexual urges of an English king ! What a perverted sect it is !

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    Pearl, Plymouth  |  February 02 2011, 12:10AM

    @ ME in cornwall I didn't say you or anyone else weren't entitled to your opinions of faith , it's a free country and I believe everyone has the right to believe in whatever they wish , as I have the right to be amused by those beliefs or lack of them , take a chill pill or have a cup of tea and calm down , am sure the Archbishop of Canterbury will be very upset at being called a hypocrite , I happen to think he is a hypocrite to , we had high hopes for him when he was enthroned, what a let down, what a wimp , in my opinion :)

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    Me, UK  |  February 01 2011, 2:13PM

    @ Pearl ME in Cornwall thinks she (or he ? ) knows better than the Archbishop of Canterbury about GOD's will , how very amusing Pearl, Plymouth What makes you the expert Dave? Can you prove me wrong? No, all you can do is mock and spew venom. :( :(

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    Me, UK  |  February 01 2011, 1:47PM

    Pearl So now I'm homophobic because I think the Archbishop of Canterbury is a hypocrite? You want homosexual acts to be accepted by all (and probably want people burned at the stake if they refuse to do so) and the only good 'christian' is one that accepts you for what you are. Well sorry Dave, but some people refuse to compromise what they believe, just because some men say we should; a true christian would be reminded of the words of peter at Acts 5 v 29 : "Peter and the other apostles replied: 'We must obey God rather than human beings!' " The Anglican church is divided on this and other issues, it is full of hypocrisy and it's adherants know little of the bible and have never challenged their beliefs and traditions in the light of Gods word. No wonder people are leaving in their droves and the churches and chapels are being sold off. It saddens me that David Kato Kisule should be murdered for campaigning for homosexual rights, he is not the first and surely won't be the last. Again, though, true christians should shun all forms of violence unless utterly the last resort in self defense. You are welcome to be homosexual, but just don't expect me to compromise what I humbly and respectfully believe because you don't agree with me. I am not asking you to do so after all.

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    Pearl, Plymouth  |  February 01 2011, 1:21PM

    ME in Cornwall thinks she (or he ? ) knows better than the Archbishop of Canterbury about GOD's will , how very amusing :)

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    Pearl, Plymouth  |  February 01 2011, 12:25PM

    @ ME , The Archbishop of Canterbury is the foremost authority and leader of the Anglican faith in the United Kingdom , are you saying he isn't a good practising christian ME ?http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/3120

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    Me, UK  |  February 01 2011, 11:27AM

    @Pearl http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4473814.ece Pearl, Plymouth This is the epitome of hypocrisy! He believes one thing and yet teaches another. This kind of nonsense from a so-called leader of the church is exactly the reason so many people don't have time for religion any more. Are you holding him up as an example of what a 'christian' should be? I think you'll find that most of them are the same as him, they think not God's thoughts, but those of men, preferring the darkness to the light. What's the point in (christian) religion any more? They should change the lords prayer to 'our will be done on earth' instead of God's because that's what they teach.

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    Urban Leprechaun, Devon  |  February 01 2011, 10:25AM

    This is not Christians being thrown before the lions. This is Christians being thrown before the gerbils.

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