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Author Topic: Secret tape reveals Tory backing for ban on gays  (Read 185 times)
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kinda_invisable
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« on: 05 April 2010, 12:10:PM »

Normally I wouldn't give a toss about this but, I am annoyed that gay activists are using this to present glbt as victims.  Anyone should have the right and be protected from keeping certain people out of their establishments if they so wish.  If I ran a Bed & Breakfast along the lines that I didn't want straights sleeping in my bedrooms, I wouldn't be in business for long.  The comments made are acceptable in my opinion and should not be construed as hate speech or inciting hate and violence.

So glbt need to adopt consumer discernment.  If someone doesnt want you in their establishment, why would you want to be there anyway?  Spend your dollars where you will be welcome.  More and more B&Bs are advertising gay friendly or gay.  This is an indication that the B&B market has reached a point where they understand who their consumers are and they will direct their sales at that discretionary market group.  I would be far happier if they were to list the homo unfriendly places anyway.  I hate the thought that my money was being spent in an establishment that found my sexuality distasteful.

It's time we started listing anti-glbt shops, hotels, and products.  Nothing is more traumatic to sellers of services and products, than negative publicity and marketing bearing down on the profit margins of their businesses.  I should point out that the overly PC management of acceptance in the EC would have no place here.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/03/tory-tape-gays-bed-breakfast



The Tories were embroiled in a furious row over lesbian and gay rightson Saturday after the shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling, was secretly taped suggesting that people who ran bed and breakfasts in their homes should "have the right" to turn away homosexual couples.

The comments, made by Grayling last week to a leading centre-right thinktank, drew an angry response from gay groups and other parties, which said they were evidence that senior figures in David Cameron's party still tolerate prejudice.

In a recording of the meeting of the Centre for Policy Studies, obtained by the Observer, Grayling makes clear he has always believed that those who run B&Bs should be free to turn away guests.

"I think we need to allow people to have their own consciences," he said. "I personally always took the view that, if you look at the case of should a Christian hotel owner have the right to exclude a gay couple from a hotel, I took the view that if it's a question of somebody who's doing a B&B in their own home, that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn't come into their own home."

He draws a distinction, however, with hotels, which he says should admit gay couples. "If they are running a hotel on the high street, I really don't think that it is right in this day and age that a gay couple should walk into a hotel and be turned away because they are a gay couple, and I think that is where the dividing line comes."

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay rights group Stonewall, said the comments would be "very alarming to a lot of gay people who may have been thinking of voting Conservative".

He added: "The legal position is perfectly clear. If you are going to offer the public a commercial service – and B&Bs are a commercial service – then people cannot be refused that service on the grounds of sexuality. No one is obliged to run a B&B, but people who do so have to obey the law. "I don't think anyone, including the Tories, wants to go back to the days where there is a sign outside saying: 'No gays, no blacks, no Irish.'"

Labour said that Grayling's comments ran contrary to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, which state that no one should be refused goods or services on the grounds of their sexuality.

Grayling voted in favour of the regulations, which apply to the provision of "accommodation in a hotel, boarding house or similar establishment".

Last month, a Christian B&B owner in Cookham, Berkshire, was reported to the police for refusing to take in a gay couple as guests. Susanne Wilkinson said she had expected a man and woman, but when two men turned up she did not feel she could accommodate them because to do so was "against her convictions". The couple said they were considering suing, not for money, but "for a principle".

Chris Bryant, the Europe minister, who last weekend became the first gay MP to be married in the Commons, said from his honeymoon in Edinburgh: "Anybody who thinks that the Tory party has changed should think what it would be like to have Chris Grayling as home secretary. It is impossible to draw a distinction between bed and breakfasts and hotels. It is very clear that very senior Tories have not realised that the world has moved on."

A Conservative spokesperson said last night that Grayling had been clear about the obligations on hotel owners, but declined to be drawn on his views on B&Bs: "Chris Grayling was absolutely clear that in this day and age a gay couple should not be turned away from a hotel just because they are gay couple."

The row will alarm David Cameron as he prepares for a general election that looks certain to be called on Tuesday. The Tory leader has gone out of his way to win over gay and lesbian voters by stressing his new-look party's liberal credentials. Last year, he apologised for section 28, the law passed by Margaret Thatcher's Tory government in the late 1980s that bans the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Cameron has also voted in favour of civil partnerships.

However, his progress in attracting the gay vote has been halted by a series of disputes involving his own MPs and MEPs. Tory MEPs last year refused to support a motion that condemned a new homophobic law in Lithuania.

Cameron was also left embarrassed during a recent interview with Gay Times, broadcast by Channel 4 News, in which he admitted he did not know his party's position on a series of votes involving gay rights issues in the UK and European parliaments.

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "Chris Grayling's plan would allow discrimination to thrive, as every bigot was given a licence to opt out of equality rules. These views… show how far the Conservative party still has to travel before reaching the modern age."

The culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, who is openly gay, said: "What is critical at this election is whether David Cameron is for real and whether his party has actually changed. Yet again the mask has slipped."
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« Reply #1 on: 05 April 2010, 12:25:PM »

hmm interesting

I personally have no experience with discrimination with a number of reasons

however that sounds just ridiculous to me

my parents run a small motel down in New Plymouth and they are hard believing chrisitians and even though they may be uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality, they would certainly will not turn anyone away

it just seems that people who can't tolerate that is diffeerent than 'normal' are just picking on things like sexuality since you can't pick on the colour anymore

anyway it just baffles me
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« Reply #2 on: 05 April 2010, 02:31:PM »

In New Zealand the Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on a number of grounds including sexual orientation in the provision of accommodation, but there is an exemption under the Act for shared residential accommodation.  So you don't have to accept as a flatmate someone from a group you don't feel comfortable with, e.g. Muslims don't have to accept Christian flatmates, women don't have to accept men as flatmates etc. 

See http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0082/latest/DLM304633.html

A bed and breakfast or boarding house would probably be regarded as shared residential accommodation if the owner or manager lived at the place.  If the owner or manager lived elsewhere then it would be commercial accommodation and the non-discrimination law would apply.

Siimilar provisions apply with regard to employing staff.  You can't discriminate against someone if you're employing them in a commercial or public business, but you can if they're working in your home on domestic or care-giving duties.  So for example, you could employ an out gay early childhood teacher to work at your kindergarten but refuse to employ that teacher to care for your own children at home.


I don't know the UK legislation but including an exemption for private residential situations in anti-discrimination laws is common world-wide.  I know that i wouldn't want to employ a fundamentalist Christian to care for my son in my home.
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« Reply #3 on: 05 April 2010, 02:37:PM »

really? that's very interesting

well that's something I learnt today!
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« Reply #4 on: 05 April 2010, 04:18:PM »

The UK legislation was introduced primarily to prevent discrimination in accessing goods and services by GLBT.    A boarding house or bed and breakfast is classified as a commercial operation and cannot refuse GLBT patronage because it would happily accept other paying guests without question.   

If I remember correctly, the only exception is for religious groups - provided that they aren't running an entirely commercial operation where other patrons would be able to use facilities regardless of religious conviction.

It's also illegal under the regulations to attempt to induce or attempt to induce another to discriminate.  So for an MP to be saying this, could be sailing close to the wind - whether or not it's a curtailment of his freedom of speech.
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« Reply #5 on: 05 April 2010, 04:34:PM »

The UK legislation was introduced primarily to prevent discrimination in accessing goods and services by GLBT.    A boarding house or bed and breakfast is classified as a commercial operation and cannot refuse GLBT patronage because it would happily accept other paying guests without question.   

If I remember correctly, the only exception is for religious groups - provided that they aren't running an entirely commercial operation where other patrons would be able to use facilities regardless of religious conviction.

It's also illegal under the regulations to attempt to induce or attempt to induce another to discriminate.  So for an MP to be saying this, could be sailing close to the wind - whether or not it's a curtailment of his freedom of speech.

I think we can discriminate here in NZ.  I recall the Palmerston North motel that refused people from somewhere.  They were allowed to do it.  But the uproar was so great, I think they lost a lot of business as a result and were forced to retract the ban purely for commercial reasons.
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« Reply #6 on: 05 April 2010, 06:53:PM »

One motel was threatened with legal action for refusing to take an Asian family, but the Human Rights Commission has as part of its processes a first step of mediation to try to resolve issues.  That motel owner's argument was that they didn't want Asian cooking in the motel unit for fear of strong cooking fumes.  This isn't valid grounds for refusing accommodation to anyone unless cooking in units has been prohibited in advance. 
http://www.theindian.co.nz/testing/plugin/portal/default1.asp?plugin=DiscView.asp&mid=871&forum_id=16&page=&

Potentially a motel owner could refuse to accept bookings from smokers, but this is usually handled by trying to ensure that non-smokers are booked into non-smoking units and smokers into smoking units.

I think that motel owner eventually apologised to the Asian family but the bad publicity continued regardless.

Refusing to take university sports teams - as one motel did - is lawful but also seen as bad PR.  Ditto the Palmerston North motel owner who refused to take people from Wainuiomata
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/2348582/Motel-bans-town - not illegal but stupid.
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« Reply #7 on: 05 April 2010, 07:51:PM »

There is more information about the context of this legislation on a website with the discussion of the EU Draft Directive.  Countries that are members of the European Union are obliged to pass legislation complying with EU Legislation Directives, as with the EU's recent Anti-Discrimination Directive. 

http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/2008/eudirective/draftdirective.pdf

The draft of the directive included the following section:

Quote
In terms of access to goods and services, only professional or commercial activities are
covered. In other words, transactions between private individuals acting in a private capacity
will not be covered: letting a room in a private house does not need to be treated in the same
way as letting rooms in a hotel.


The UK is trying to ensure that it complies with the EU Directive.  A commercial hotel clearly has to comply with anti-discrimination measures.  A private house would not.  Whether a private boarding house or similar accommodation has to comply would depend on how it is classified.  I will see if I can find this - just for curiosity.  In general terms, it looks like the UK legislation will not be much different from the NZ legislation in its effect.
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« Reply #8 on: 05 April 2010, 08:31:PM »

There is more information about the context of this legislation on a website with the discussion of the EU Draft Directive.  Countries that are members of the European Union are obliged to pass legislation complying with EU Legislation Directives, as with the EU's recent Anti-Discrimination Directive.  

http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/2008/eudirective/draftdirective.pdf

The draft of the directive included the following section:

The UK is trying to ensure that it complies with the EU Directive.  A commercial hotel clearly has to comply with anti-discrimination measures.  A private house would not.  Whether a private boarding house or similar accommodation has to comply would depend on how it is classified.  I will see if I can find this - just for curiosity. In general terms, it looks like the UK legislation will not be much different from the NZ legislation in its effect.


What do you mean?
« Last Edit: 05 April 2010, 08:59:PM by kinda_invisable » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: 05 April 2010, 08:54:PM »

I think the main question I thought when I saw this on the news is that, why the hell would a same sex couple want to go to a a christian run B&B anyways?
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« Reply #10 on: 05 April 2010, 09:00:PM »

I think the main question I thought when I saw this on the news is that, why the hell would a same sex couple want to go to a a christian run B&B anyways?

exactly.
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« Reply #11 on: 05 April 2010, 09:38:PM »

I think the main question I thought when I saw this on the news is that, why the hell would a same sex couple want to go to a a christian run B&B anyways?

Perhaps their psychic abilities weren't working as well as they could have been when they booked to alert them to the fact?  Or they couldn't see the flashing neon "Christian Run B&B" sign from a few hundred miles away.
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« Reply #12 on: 05 April 2010, 09:38:PM »

What do you mean?

NZ law excludes shared residential accommodation from anti-discrimination legislation.  The EU Directive excludes private homes from anti-discrimination measures as does UK legislation.

Chris Grayling is quoted as
Quote
suggesting that people who ran bed and breakfasts in their homes should "have the right" to turn away homosexual couples.

If a B&B is classified as a private home it would be excluded from anti-discrimination measures.  If it is classified as a commercial hotel, then anti-discrimination measures would probably apply.  The same situation as in New Zealand.

Grayling seems to have been enough of a politician to grey-shade his words.  What he is suggesting may be legal but it is still going to be read favourably by conservative voters.

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« Reply #13 on: 05 April 2010, 09:45:PM »

That's probably not correct Kaytu.  If they are offering B&B, they are already a commercial enterprise and outside the classification of a private home.
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« Reply #14 on: 05 April 2010, 09:47:PM »

NZ law excludes shared residential accommodation from anti-discrimination legislation.  The EU Directive excludes private homes from anti-discrimination measures as does UK legislation.

Chris Grayling is quoted as
If a B&B is classified as a private home it would be excluded from anti-discrimination measures.  If it is classified as a commercial hotel, then anti-discrimination measures would probably apply.  The same situation as in New Zealand.

Grayling seems to have been enough of a politician to grey-shade his words.  What he is suggesting may be legal but it is still going to be read favourably by conservative voters.



B&Bs are commercial premises and must conform to fire permits, council health bylaws and meet the hotel accommodation rules.  I would therefore assume that even though they are private residential properties, they are still commercial premises.  My point is, commercial or not, owners have the right to refuse guests.  
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