Christians who suffered death threats and vandalism after being sued by a gay couple have put their bed-and-breakfast up for sale.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull spent winter shivering and sometimes going hungry because of the crushing impact of equality laws.
The Bulls will only allow married couples to share a double bed at their guesthouse near Penzance in Cornwall, England, because of their Christian beliefs.
Their policy, which applies to heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, has been in place since the business opened and is well advertised.
But as soon as new gay rights laws were introduced in 2007, the government’s tourism board for England struck the Bulls’ B&B off its approved list.
A few years later, in 2011, the Bulls were successfully sued by gay couple Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who won £3,600 (about $5,773) in damages.
The U.K. Supreme Court will hear the Bulls’ appeal next month in a case backed by the Christian Institute.
But in the meantime, the B&B has been targeted with vandalism, wheel nuts have been removed from the Bulls’ car and recently a dead rabbit was nailed to their fence.
The B&B’s website was hacked and replaced with pornography, and the couple has received death threats.
The decision to sell the property—which is also their home—was not taken suddenly, Hazelmary Bull says.
“It was a gradual process; we just noticed more and more that we couldn’t make the mortgage repayments,” she explains.
“Last winter was terrible. We were actually shivering and were hungry. We are coming toward next winter and dreading it,” she says. “In 2013, two people who worked all their lives at this have ended up cold and hungry. It’s not right. This is like a death in the family. I never thought it would end like this. We are not facing the future with any real enthusiasm.”
Christian Institute spokesman Mike Judge says, “It’s a chilling view of equality which ends up treating a pair of honest Christians like this. I very much hope the U.K. Supreme Court introduces a more balanced approach.”