As you will recall in March 2010 Susanne declined to allow a homosexual couple, Michael Black and John Morgan to share a double bedroom at the Swiss Bed and Breakfast which she runs in our family home in Cookham.
After 3 adjournments in September 2011 (the claimants requested to change their claim), in December 2011 (to await the pending High Court decision in the similar case of the Bull family) and in May 2012 (the judge declined to hear the case, without giving reasons) we are now told by our lawyers that the case will go ahead next Monday and Tuesday in Reading.
We would greatly value your prayers for which you may find the attached summary of some help.
With thanks and love in Jesus
Mike and Susanne
(BTM Note: Yet more victims of homosexual fury. We must, under God, try to turn this foul tide.)
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 2½ years ago on 19 March 2010. This case which has been previously been deferred three times is now scheduled to be heard on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 September 2012 at Reading County Court. Your prayerful support would be very much appreciated.
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. This has been interpreted by the courts to extend to services provided by private guest houses and B&Bs.
As Bible based Christians, we believe homosexual behaviour is unnatural and sinful in God's eyes and therefore cannot be supported or approved of. We do not discriminate against people for their homosexual orientation and offer such guests single room accomodation. However, because of our Christian faith we are unwilling to accomodate homosexual behaviour in a small B&B which operates within our 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 where the judge ruled against them for unlawful discrimination. They appealed to the High Court in November 2011 but again lost and have since made a further appeal to the Supreme Court which has now scheduled a hearing during June-December 2013. Ideally Susanne's case would be deferred until after that hearing.
- That politicians, the courts and the media will come to realise that the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) 2007 is wrongly imbalanced in favour of homosexuals and unfairly discriminates against orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims wishing to conduct business according to their deeply held religious beliefs.
- That the presiding judge will be willing to uphold Susanne's rights as a Christian against the rights of homosexuals to practice what the Bible describes as sinful sexual acts within our family 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 that are to be expected 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 in this situation and we thank you for joining us in prayer that the sovereign Lord's will be done, in spite of the prevailing cultural bias in the UK against Christians and the negative aspects of the 'Equality laws' passed by our parliament. We are reminded and encouraged how the imprisoned Paul wrote to the church in Philippi: 'Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.'
Mike and Susanne Wilkinson