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The Christian owners of a bed-and-breakfast who only allow married couples to share a double bed are taking their case to the U.K. Supreme Court this week.
In a two-day hearing, starting on Wednesday, Peter and Hazelmary Bull will appeal against a ruling that said they discriminated against a gay couple in a civil partnership.
The Bulls were ordered to pay a total of £3,600 (about $5,775) in damages to Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall in 2011.
The Bulls appeared on ITV's Daybreak Tuesday morning and faced hostile questioning from Lorraine Kelly.
Hazelmary Bull said her beliefs about marriage were based on the Bible, but Kelly hit back, “It’s 2013!”
Viewers took to Facebook and Twitter to complain about the way the interview was handled.
On Facebook, viewer Emma Boyd said, “I don’t entirely agree with the B&B couple. But I don’t think Aled and Lorraine would speak so rudely to a Muslim.”
Another viewer, Eileen Hook, said, “Shame on Daybreak and Lorraine. Having said that, the couple stayed calm and presented their views in a confident and polite manner.”
The Bulls have recently had to put their B&B up for sale after they suffered financially in the wake of equality laws.
They have also suffered death threats and vandalism and have seen their website hacked and replaced with pornography.
The Bulls will only allow married couples to share a double bed at their guesthouse near Penzance in Cornwall 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.
Last month, Preddy said the Christians had “brought it on themselves.”
He told ITV News that while the situation was “unfortunate” because the Bulls “stuck to their guns,” he said, “In some ways, I think they’ve brought it on themselves really.”
Earlier in September, a national newspaper columnist said the Bulls suffered a “campaign of hatred, vilification and intimidation” under the guise of tolerance.
“Not for the first time it’s obvious that those ‘liberals’ who preach ‘tolerance’ are themselves the most vile, intolerant bigots imaginable,” Richard Littlejohn said.
The Bulls are supported by the Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund, while the taxpayer-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission is funding the same-sex couple’s case.
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