Equality watchdog to investigate gay hotels

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on February 21, 2011

After a Christian hotel was found guilty of breaking equality laws by preventing a homosexual couple from a sharing a room, a government watchdog has vowed to investigate whether gay guesthouses are guilty of the same.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has vowed to apply “objective balance” by looking to see if gay-only lodgings are breaking a new law to prevent people from being discriminated against when purchasing goods and services.

Last month, a Christian hotel in Cornwall became the first to be charged under the law after they told a gay couple they could not share a double room. The EHCR has now been forced to investigate gay establishments in a quest to discover if similar discrimination against heterosexual couples also happens there.

The commission says it lawyers are looking into the prospect, but it also admits that so far it has received no such complaints from the public about equality issues in gay hotels. Owners of such guesthouses also claim that their usual clientele will feel uncomfortable if straight people were also allowed to stay at their lodgings.

It has been revealed that more than £15,000 of taxpayers’ money has so far been spent on enforcing the new equality law. Much of this has involved sending letters to religious guesthouses pointing out the importance of treating homosexuals fairly.

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