(Please see UPDATES at end.)
The BBC is reporting that Bristol County Court has ruled against a couple who own an hotel, and who have 'Christian' beliefs, who said it was their policy to deny double-bedded rooms to couples who are not married, even if they are heterosexual.
From what I understand the court has ruled the couple's policy illegal because 'civil partnership' for homosexuals (male gay or lesbian female) is the legal equivalent of marriage for heterosexual couples and the law forbids discrimination of this type. In running a business, hotel owners may not impose their religious beliefs on others. There was a video-interview with the gay couple who brought the action following the judgement and understandably they are very pleased with the outcome of their case. There are no online links as yet, as the judgement has just been given, but I will undoubtedly come back to this story in due course.
It is very pleasing that this clear case of flouting the law by this homophobic couple has been stamped on by a court.
UPDATE (Tuesday 18JAN2011 11.03 GMT) PinkNews now have an article up about the judgement. The BBC have now also shown a video-statement made by Mrs Bull, one of the joint hotel-owners; she seems still not to accept that her 'beliefs' are not justification for discrimination so far as the law is concerned.
2nd UPDATE (Tuesday 18JAN2011 11.17 GMT)The BBC now have a report on the judgement.