Belfast Telegraph

Councillor’s sympathy for gay row B&B owners

Antrim councillor Adrian Watson has said he sympathises with the Christian owners of a seaside guesthouse who acted unlawfully when they refused to let a gay couple share a double bed.

Civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy won a landmark case yesterday against Cornwall B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull after a judge decided they had been denied their rights when refused a room together.

Mr Watson, who was accused of homophobia in 2006 after he said he would feel uncomfortable having gay couples in his B&B, said he “respected” the guesthouse owners.

He said that laws in this country focused on sexuality and did not take people’s religious |beliefs into account.

“In this particular case I know the couple have very strong Christian views and those have to be |respected. I would sympathise with them,” he said.

“But often legal opinion in this country fails to acknowledge religious views and they are secondary to other rights.”

The former mayor of Antrim said he wouldn’t discriminate against anyone who wished to stay at his guesthouse and would never refuse a gay or lesbian couple.

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