LONDON — A gay couple have won their lawsuit against the owner of a bed and breakfast who would not let them stay in a double room, a human rights group said Thursday.
Michael Black, 64, and partner John Morgan, 59, made a reservation and paid a deposit on the room at the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire in March 2010.
However owner Susanne Wilkinson, refused to allow the couple to stay in the room because it was "against her convictions".
The outcome was confirmed by civil liberties group Liberty, which represented the couple from Brampton in Cambridgeshire in the case at Reading County Court.
Wilkinson argued that she had not acted in a discriminatory way because she had a religious objection to sexual behaviour outside of marriage or civil partnerships, rather than homosexual sexual orientation.
Black and Morgan are not in a civil partnership.
Her lawyer James Dingemans QC told the court: "If Mrs Wilkinson had simply said, 'don't come in because you're gay', that could never be justified.
"It was simply the provision of the double bed which Mrs Wilkinson believed was wrong."
However judge Recorder Claire Moulder dismissed the argument, finding that Black and Morgan had suffered unlawful discrimination.
The couple were reportedly awarded 3,600 pounds in compensation.
James Welch, legal director of Liberty, said: "It is simply unacceptable for people running a business to refuse to provide a service because of someone's sexual orientation.
"Hopefully today's ruling signals the death knell of such 'no gays' policies -- policies that would never be tolerated if they referred to a person's race, gender or religion."
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