Christian Hoteliers – Victims of Persecution

In Association with the Libertarian International

Release Date: Tuesday 18th January 2011
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, sean

“Christian Hoteliers are Victims of Persecution,” Says Free Market and Civil Liberties Policy Institute

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties institute, today condemns the conviction of Christian Hoteliers Peter and Hazelmary Bull, for their refusal to provide a room with a double bed to a male homosexual couple.

Speaking today in London, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, comments:

“Mr and Mrs Bull have been victims of persecution. If they choose not to do business with homosexuals, that should be their concern alone. They are using their own property and using up their own time. They should be at liberty to associate or not associate as they please. Any law that says otherwise is morally indefensible.

“We are told that this prosecution has been a ‘victory for human rights’. It has not.

“Every person has the right to life and justly-acquired property, and to do with his own whatever does not infringe the equal rights of others.

“From this primary right can be derived all the rights of the liberal tradition – freedom of expression and contract and association, together with security against oppressive or arbitrary behaviour by the State.

“It does not generate any right not to be hated or despised or shunned.

“It does not justify laws against discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion or sexual orientation, or laws against expressing or inciting hatred against any group.

“By forcing people to associate with or contract with persons whom they would otherwise reject, anti-discrimination laws are an attack on life and property. They are a form of coerced association. They give some people uncompensated claims on others. They amount to a form of slavery mediated by the State.

“Politically correct authoritarians like to hail each new set of anti-discrimination laws as an extension of human rights. Such laws are in fact violations of the only human rights that mean anything.

“And we see no exception to these principles just because money may change hands. The right to offer goods and services is just a subset of the right to freedom of association.”

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

* That the Equality Act 2006 should be repealed, together with all delegated legislation made thereunder;:
* That the Commission for Equality and Human Rights set up under the above Act should be abolished at the first opportunity, and that all its records should be destroyed;
* That the records of the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality, and the Disability Rights Commission should be destroyed;
* That those sections of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, and the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 not already repealed by the Equality Act 2006 should be immediately repealed;
* That any organisation arguing against the above should receive no public funding.


Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. His new novel, The Churchill Memorandum is available on Amazon. He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 700 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Tel: 07956 472 199

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.

Hampden Press –– the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.

23 responses to “Christian Hoteliers – Victims of Persecution

  1. Well, it’s a bloody disgrace isn’t it?

    But, also. I did think as I was reading the Judge’s sanctimonious claptrap- well, a couple of things. Firstly, that it’s good evidence for why judges should never be deciding a verdict in any court case. If it’s not by jury, it’s corrupt. A judge will always be a spokesman for the ruling class ideological hegemony what have you, which right now is PuritoGramscoFabiaNaziGreenGayWhatHaveYou.

    But also, I did feel a slight twinge of “well, now the boot’s on the other foot…”. You see, in my philosophy, the collapse of liberty has been due to a surge of moralism which began in the aerly 19th century, led to Victorian Values and statism. And that started off as Christian moralism. And it was characterised by saying “what you do in private is a public concern”.

    It was those Christian activists who decided that brothels should be illegal, for instance. Up until quite late in Victorian times, a brothel was as immune from the law as a church. What you did in your own property, whether or not for money, was not the concern of the State or the Law. But the Christians said, “we can’t have that. We must stop immoral things happening in private.” So, we got laws against brothels.

    So now the boot’s on the other foot, and secular fabian moralists are doing it to Christians. But it’s the same thing, really. It’s the State deciding what is acceptable behaviour on private property, and legislating to control it. To make the world a better place, as the saying goes.

    So I am inclined to say, if a Christian complains that his liberty has been taken, “well, you lot started it”. Because really, they did, didn’t they?

  2. Come to that, it was the bloody Christians, specifically the puritan wing, who started the Temperance Movement too, which ties directly to the previous blog post. See the pattern?

  3. You sound almost nostalgic for the good old days of liberty you insist never were. You’ll be a Gabbite next!

  4. Quite torn on this one.

    I fully understand the argument for freedom of association and that you should be able to choose who you do business with based on whichever criteria you like, however, the room was booked, it was effectively their property and so what they got up to in it was their business. Surely that is the nature of an hotel?

    The couple should ask all people if they’re married before allowing access to the double rooms – although gay people in civil unions enjoy very similar protections to straight marriages so this policy would probably be in violation of some rule too.

    If you want to discriminate then don’t offer your wares to the public.

    I guess my opinion on this will come down to whether an hotel offering rooms is an invitation to treat or a binding offer.

  5. Much of what the Victorians’ did may have been dressed up in Christian values but their actions had very practical aims. For example the army in Aldershot was severely disabled by venereal disease. A law was passed to enable the authorities to stop and examine any single woman who was suspected of being a prostitute. If she was diseased she was banned from entering the town. It was the only way to stop the soldiers buying her time – of course it didn’t stop the trade nor the spreading of venereal disease. Yes Christian values but very practical aims similar to providing clean water to stop the spread of water borne disease.
    With regards the current conviction; its their property, no public money involved, so its their choice who they have as customers. If I booked a room but turned up drunk and vomiting everywhere I wouldn’t blame the owners saying, “No thanks and here’s your money back.” Its their property.

  6. can I sue a halal or kosher restaurant for refusing to make me a bacon sandwich?

  7. The consequences could be dangerous.

    Are we to now believe that I can demand entry to a mosque or synagogue while eating a bacon sandwich? Such behaviour would rightly be regarded as provocative, as was the entrapment practiced by the gay couple in this case.

    I wonder if there is a body of analysis which looks at a possible distinction between businesses which assume almost public status on account of their size and coverage, compared to smaller establishments. My point being that, if a gay couple were to be refused access to all forms of hotel space (or food, etc) they might have a point. But in this case it was not Travelodge who rejected them – an anonymous large hotel chain, but a family’s own home.

    I do not seek to argue that liberties are the possession only of the small man but this case is so extreme as to need context for the public generally to appreciate its scandalous nature.

  8. Kosher restaurants don’t offer bacon sandwiches, so thhe issue doesn’t arise.
    However, it is worth asking if limited liability companies – which are given legal privileges by the State, supposedly on behalf of the community – should be compelled not to discriminate between members of the community.

  9. What happened to “Right of Admission Reserved”? Have those signs all been taken down?

  10. I have been known to refer to myself as “Gabbite” in the past, Sean :) Indeed, I have found a number of your talks I’ve watched on the internet positively inspiring.

    Then you go and write something about how the upper classes are genetically superior, or Mr Carson’s nonsense about roadbuilding being a statist conspiracy and we should manufacture TVs in rustic local workshops, and I have to tearfully burn my Sean Gabb Fan Club membership card :'(

  11. Sean, the limited liability argument was the one I went down when discussing the Rand Paul furore [over the Civil Rights Act] in the US.

    I argued that companies should be allowed to refuse to trade on any grounds they like but any company looking for state (local or federal) aid or protection in any way should have to sign a non-discrimination agreement. Private companies and individuals can do what they like and companies that discriminate would be driven out of business in most areas.

    None of which allows for any company or individual to break their contract. Is an hotel booking a contract???

  12. Torn here as well , see Keddaw, the point being in my mind that the law is the law, whether we like it or not. If we break it and are caught we most likely will get punished.

    The guest house couple advertised their accommodation with no stipulations, or forgot to mention their stipulations of requirement of booking. I am not saying they should have had to, though apparently they normally did ask if a couple booking a room were married or not. I am making an observed statement; as was in the US public places could state, “…no dogs, no niggers, no Jews allowed,”
    I am not saying that is right – and before someone reports me for being a racist or anti-Semitic, I am quoting something to make my point.
    In this country the law out rules a rights reserved statement.

    We either go back down that road, everybody discriminates on whatever ideology they wish to instate, or we work within the law to make our position clear, or clearer in the case of the guest house couple.

    A bouncer, sorry door person, does not have to give a reason for not letting in clients to a premise they deem undesirable or not applicable, such clients get moved on. Point of fact some years ago a woman was refused entry to a gay club because she looked straight, as happens she was gay. Did not gain entrance though.

    What I am saying that in obeying the rules of the law, like them or not, one can do one of two things, give up and go away moaning that everyone is against you, or fight within the premise of the law. I did think that if someone lived in their premise they were entitled to ‘discriminate’, apparently not. However as the comments on the Sheffield Forum show there is more to ponder about:

    I think both couples overreacted. This will have a knock on effect. May I suggest that, a nuisance as it is, that if one has such strong prejudices, for whatever reason, they make sure their description of their public facility – in this case a guest house – states it is Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Gay blah blah run. That way people wishing to use such premises could either avoid it, or understand we all have prejudices, preferences if you like, and adapt accordingly. The guest house owners said they would have given a different room – two single beds – to the gay couple if they had a free room. The same as for a heterosexual couple not married. I know this is not a satisfactory way of having to do things, but in society however free or have a right to do as you please as you think, you do not. It is a shame that business and religion have to be antagonistic.

    Of course there will be people who try to entrap people – the gay couple in this instance were not trying to entrap, they were just shocked, tired and bitterly disappointed. As were the guest house couple, shocked, not tired or disappointed, though they may have been. There are other cases where entrapment has been used but…

    And just as an antidote, a Roman Catholic chemist does not have to sell contraceptives:
    “The locum pharmacist on duty objected on religious grounds, which he is within his rights to do”. The customer was, “… given advice as to alternative sources where she could purchase the pill”.
    A Royal Pharmaceutical Society for Great Britain spokesman said that the industry code of practice states that the refusing pharmacist must give details of an alternative source.
    Since that is where most contraceptives are purchased, is he not actually discriminating against someone’s choice of behaviour and refusing them a product? Apparently not.
    Comment over.

  13. Sorry but Mr & Mrs Bull are clearly the victims of entrapment – they were set up.
    It is no different from undercover police officers training/advising activists to break the law, and arranging for the activist to be arrested when they do so

  14. In reply to Ron B et al, can you explain why you think the guest house hotel couple were set up in an entrapment? Did the homosexual couple deliberately target this guest house? Have we proof of this? If that is the case then that is shocking. As it stands there is no proof that this was an entrapment. A stupid state of affairs but not an entrapment. But I am happy to be proved wrong.

  15. efgd,

    “the law is the law, whether we like it or not. If we break it and are caught we most likely will get punished.”

    Accepting that the state has the power to enforce whatever illegitimate mandate it desires is one thing, but don’t call it the law. It’s no more the law than if the local mafia tell you to pay protection money.

    Either way you face punishment. Both ways it is illegitimate.

  16. Of all the guest houses in the world the gay couple just happened to picked this one, and it just so happens the owners are an elderly man and his wife. Sorry just too many coincidences to be a just by chance we happened to pick this one.
    In my opinion the elderly pair were set up and the intention from the start was to end up in court.
    For me this is really about the owners of property having the right to use or abuse their property as they wish – provided no one is physically or financially hurt. The gay couple could have gone to another guest house, but no it had to end in a court case, financed by a government body. The result was a forgone conclusion – a blow for freedom.

  17. Because of what they are (you must see what I mean here) the Christian couple who own the guest house _/would never have thought it necessary to ask if two men, who wanted a “double room” (I presume it means with “one double bed” (only) in it) were married/_ .

    The British State’s definition of “marriage”, you see, has been corrupted and nationalised into a “civil partnership”. How many “civil partnerships” can one enter into? It ought to be lots: if not, why not?

    I, as a libertarian, sometimes a catholic and sometimes a conservative Anglican depending on how I am thinking at the time, have no idea what is meant by “civil partnership”, except that since we are to be allowed only one at a time, then possibly the State is nationalising my relationship(s) in some underhand way, probably the better to pick (our) pockets.

  18. Just out of curiousity, what does anyone think would have happened if this guesthouse had been run by devout Muslims rather than devout Christians?

    Does anyone think this would have been handled in the same way?

  19. Say what you like about them, the Moslems stick together. I remember a case last year where a young man refused to pay a clamping fee. He was fed and given endless moral support from his local mosque while he faced down a predatory clamping company.

    Before the great atomisation of the 1970s and 80s, little of our police state could have been enforced.

  20. David Davies:
    “The British State’s definition of “marriage”, you see, has been corrupted and nationalised into a “civil partnership”. How many “civil partnerships” can one enter into? It ought to be lots: if not, why not?”

    Now you have got me thinking. I do like this site!

  21. Christopher Houseman

    In response to efgd’s question about whether there’s any evidence the hoteliers were set up, the article linked here suggests there is quite good evidence to that effect:

  22. Thanks for that link Christopher, it certainly seems suspicious. What a despicable thing to do if it was a set up. Sheer spitfulness.