Peter and Hazel Bull refused to allow Martyn Hall and his civil partner, Steven Preddy, to stay in a double room at their hotel in Marazion, Cornwall.
He said the Bulls believed that "unmarried sexual behaviour was wrong" but were not prejudiced against gay people.
"[Their] beliefs may be considered outdated, uneconomic for those operating a private hotel, but, we respectfully submit, they are entitled to manifest those beliefs."
He said: "[The Bulls] have prevented hundreds of unmarried couples sharing double beds.
He said the Bulls had an "absolute right" to believe that "unmarried sexual behaviour is wrong" and a "qualified right" to "manifest that belief".
On one side, the Christan hotel owners think best not to allow their joint to be a hitch up place for unmarried couples. Regardless if you agree or not, they should be allowed to rent their rooms to people of their choice, right?
If not, I suspect the argument goes something like this: "That's discrimination. They are discriminating against those who want to have sex before marriage". Should the view have merit, would the opposite view not be equally valid? "That's discrimination against the Christians. You are discriminating against those who don't want people in their hotel rooms who practice sex before marriage". It's the same logic. Why does one often pass, but not the other?
When one group is discriminated* against, typically I see that we crush another groups beliefs...which is also discrimination. It's kinda like this: "All the people who wear blue go to the penalty box." Then, those who wear blue reply, "All those who don't wear blue go to the penalty box." Who wins? Blue or not-blue? The problem with many of today's discrimination laws is it picks either blue or not-blue and the one they don't pick is automatically branded the group that discriminates. Arbitrary at best.
How is it legitimate for a group to claim discrimination and yet discriminate against the values of another? Who cares if the Christian beliefs are passe or wrong...the issue is, it's their belief. Where is 'tolerence for the Christan hotel owners'?
What if in the broadly logical sense, the homosexual couple was morally correct? Should the hotel owners be obliged to comply because their views are morally wrong? If yes, then would it not follow that if (again in the broadly logical sense) the Christian couple was morally correct, then by that logic, they can oblige their potential clients to respect their wishes? My point is not the homosexual or Christan couple is morally superior therefore they get to choose. My point is that the debate is not a moral argument. I.E whoever can prove first their moral superiority gets to either stay or not stay at the hotel. It seems this is a legal argument. In which case, the issue is not discrimination, but the obeying of a law or by law: despite putting a moral 'tone' on the law by using words like discrimination. Legal or moral? The difference is significant.
The reality is that discrimination is a moral imperative often supported by a legal framework. This poses a problem for either the Christian couple, or the gay couple. If a legal framework is protecting people on a moral basis, then that moral basis needs to be: discussed and agreed upon. Is morality good and acceptable based on a transcendent rule (God says), majority population rule (man thinks and vote, dictator thinks and acts)?
Tolerance and discrimination are strong words. Few if any want to be branded 'intolerant'. No company wants to be one that discriminates. The strong words are supported by a murky, ill-defined, cloudy set of standards. If discrimination went up for a 'morality debate', it would be caught in at least 2 fatal self-contradicting positions.
It's tough to drop intolerance bombs and discrimination accusations when the definition is often self contradicting. In order to be discriminated against, I need to discriminate against you...but my type is cool...yours is evil...uh, says my big brother.
I observe that "moral relativism" partners with special interest groups to often create a selective and narrow (intolerant at that) set of standards for what constitutes an act of discrimination. No wonder we see it practiced as an incompatible term.
*I value all people as equal. I do not think we should place the value of one individual as higher then another. My argument is against the use of a bizarre, arbitrary term...not against loving people. Disagreeing with the use/practice of discrimination does not mean I don't love people equally. It means I disagree with an arbitrary use of a relative, self contradicting term.