Friday, April 22, 2011
A lesbian couple claim that a hotel manager in Brighton barred them from staying in a room together because they are lesbians.
Rebecca Nash, 22, and Hope Stubbings, 19, from Andover, claim that the manager of the Brunswick Square Hotel called them “rejects” when they complained.
In response, the hotel claimed the pair never had a booking and denied being anti-gay. A manager said that the building is full of gay couples during Pride weekend.
The couple, who are both office workers, say they arrived at the seafront hotel for a weekend away last October after booking a double room by telephone.
But they said that when they arrived, they were told that rooms were only available for “couples and families”.
They claim that when they said they were a couple, the manager said: “No two boys, no two girls. We don’t have any rooms.”
They claim that the manager then became aggressive and threatened to call police before shouting: “I don’t accept rejects in my hotel”.
The couple could not find anywhere else to stay for their trip and had to drive home.
They are claiming sexual orientation discrimination against the hotel and are being represented by Liberty.
In an email to PinkNews.co.uk, the manager of the Brunswick Square hotel, who would not give his name, said the couple had made an enquiry and had not booked a room.
He said they were asked to leave because they were “loud” and “rude” and said the hotel had never discriminated against anyone.
He added that the hotel was full of gay couples during Pride.
James Welch, Liberty’s legal director, said: “Laws prohibiting hotels and guesthouses from discriminating against gay men and lesbians have been in place for four years now, but clearly the message still isn’t getting through.
“With the Equality Act 2010 now in force, my clients intend to show that they have as much right to enjoy a quiet weekend away together as any other couple.
This is the latest in a number of cases around hotels accused of barring gay couples.
Earlier this year, Steve Preddy and Martyn Hall won £3,600 in compensation after successfully suing a Christian-run Cornwall hotel for refusing them a room.
Another couple, Michael Black and John Morgan, are suing a Berkshire B&B after the Christian owners said they could not stay.