Prayer Request for Susanne Wilkinson of the Swiss Bed & Breakfast in Cookham who is being sued on 24-25 May 2012
Michael Black and John Morgan a homosexual couple from Huntingdon are suing Susanne for denying them the use of a double bedroom at the Swiss B&B in Cookham on 19 March 2010. This case which has been previously been twice deferred is now scheduled to be heard on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 May at Reading County Court. Your prayerful support would be very much appreciated by the Wilkinson family.
Under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) 2007 homosexual people cannot be treated differently from anyone else when providing goods and services. This law says that people in civil partnerships (introduced in 2005) are to be treated the same as heterosexual married couples. It has to date been interpreted by the courts to extend to the services provided by private guest houses and B&Bs.
As Bible based Christians the Wilkinsons believe homosexual behaviour is unnatural and sinful in God's eyes and therefore cannot be supported or approved of. They do not discriminate against people for their homosexual orientation and would always offer such guests single room accomodation. However, because of their Christian faith they are unwilling to accomodate homosexual behaviour in a small B&B which operates within the family home.
On 19 March 2010 Michael Black and John Morgan were consequently declined a double room at the Swiss B & B but as homosexual activists they pursued a vigourous and organised media campaign against Susanne for acting according to her conscience and convictions.
In September 2010 the charity Liberty filed a claim on behalf of Messrs Black and Morgan to commence legal proceedings for damages against Susanne. Susanne is being supported by the Christian Institute and her defence is being conducted by James Dingemans QC.
There is a similar case involving Christians Peter and Hazelmary Bull, the owners of the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion, Cornwall . They were sued by a homosexual couple Martin Hall and Steven Preddy who gained support from the government funded Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Their case was heard at Bristol County Court in December 2010 and the judge ruled against the Bulls for unlawful discrimination. They appealed to the High Court in November 2011 but once again lost and have since made a further appeal to the Supreme Court which is pending.
- That politicians, the courts and the media will come to realise that the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) 2007 is imbalanced in favour of homosexuals and unfairly discriminates against orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims wishing to conduct business according to their religious beliefs.
- That the presiding judge will be willing to use two exceptions within the Equalities Act (those relating to family and landlord situations) to uphold Susanne's right of choice with regard to homosexual behaviour in our home.
- For James Dingemans QC and the legal team to articulate Susanne's defence clearly and persuasively
- For wisdom and strength for Susanne in the courtroom that she can speak the truth with grace and courage
- For love, patience and strength for ourselves and the Christian Institute's communications team to face the media and cope with the abuse and threats from militant extremists
- For a positive Christian witness through which the love and righteousness of Christ may be shared
We are completely trusting in God's purposes for what we are going through and we thank you for joining us as we pray like Peter and John in Acts 4: 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness...31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Mike and Susanne Wilkinson