Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 24 February 2006

It's OK to treat gay hotel guests like lepers in Hampshire!

Two gay men, Kevin Smith and Jose Ruiz, had booked an hotel room with double bed in the White Hart Hotel in Overton, rural Hampshire. On arrival the hotelier Robert Bush initially declined to let them occupy this room, suggesting instead they he give them a room with twin beds, but on finding he had none available let them have the room.

When they returned later from dinner it was to find they had been locked out of the hotel and had to stay with the friend of one of the pair. The next morning matters took a more sinister turn, allegedly, when the two men said that Mr Bush had threatened them with a firearm and said: "I'm a bloody good shot!".

As almost always happens in deplorable cases such as this, Mr Bush is quoted as making the following comments:

"I am not homophobic. I have friends who are gay."

But he added: "In a small village like Overton everyone watches everyone else all the time. I would have had the mickey taken out of me for a couple of weeks. I have a good reputation and like to keep my reputation."

- in other words he is a homophobe. People like the despicable Mr Bush are not only bigots, they are cowards too, as they refuse to accept that they condemn themselves out of their own mouths - just why would his so-called 'good reputation' have been damaged by offering hospitality to two paying guests (who are not invloved in any illegal activity merely by being a gay couple), the service that I have always naively supposed was the prime purpose of those in the hotel trade?

Judge Tom Longbotham, in his comments to the jury at the end of the 3-day trial said that "although the case had elements of Fawlty Towers they should not try Mr Bush on feeling or emotion", after having heard Defence Counsel Charles Cochand describe the reaction of Mr Smith and Mr Ruiz as:

[as] over-sensitive [and they] had blamed Mr Bush for locking them out and "saw what they wanted to see".

Extraordinary!! Not, very unfortunately, at all unbelievable!!

Mr Bush was acquitted.

Mr Bush, who is "not a homophobe", has now sold the hotel.

Moral - the good citizens on that jury have spoken and their judgement must be accepted, but it is clear evidence that raging homophobia is present not only in our legal profession, but amongst a significant proportion of citizens in that part of the country - and quite possibly elsewhere, too! (It brings to mind notorious cases in the US South of the 1950s when a white jury was unlikely ever to convict another white person of the murder of a black person.)

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