Bull and Bull v Hall and Preddy: CA 10 Feb 2012

The appellants owned a guesthouse. They appealed from being found in breach of the Regulations. They had declined to honour a booking by the respondents of a room upon learning that they were a homosexual couple. The appellants had said that they were practising Christians and viewed the guest house as their home, and that the Regulations amounted to a direct discrimination against them. They had operated a policy that only married couples could share a double bedded room.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘to the extent to which under the Regulations the restriction imposed by the Appellants upon the Respondents constitutes direct discrimination, and to the extent to which the Regulations limit the manifestation of the Appellants’ religious beliefs, the limitations are necessary in a democratic society for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. The Appellants simply seek a further exception from the requirements in the Regulations, which already provide exceptions, in the case, for example, of certain landlords and of those who permit others to share their homes. The Secretary of State has drawn what she considers the appropriate balance between the competing claims of hoteliers and (amongst others) homosexuals. Her decision has been approved by affirmative resolution. This court would be loath to interfere with her conclusions.’
‘in a pluralist society it is inevitable that from time to time, as here, views, beliefs and rights of some are not compatible with those of others. As I have made plain, I do not consider that the Appellants face any difficulty in manifesting their religious beliefs, they are merely prohibited from so doing in the commercial context they have chosen.’

Sir Andrew Morritt QC Ch. Hooper, Rafferty LJJ
[2012] EWCA Civ 83, [2012] 1 WLR 2514, [2012] WLR(D) 30, [2012] Eq LR 338, [2012] HRLR 11, [2012] 2 All ER 1017
Bailii, WLRD
Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 4(1), Equality Act 2006 81, European Convention on Human Rights 8, Human Rights Act 1998 13
England and Wales
CitedShamoon v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary HL 27-Feb-2003
The applicant was a chief inspector of police. She had been prevented from carrying out appraisals of other senior staff, and complained of sex discrimination.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. The tribunal had taken a two stage approach. It . .
CitedRegina (Amicus etc) v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Admn 26-Apr-2004
The claimants sought a declaration that part of the Regulations were invalid, and an infringement of their human rights. The Regulations sought to exempt church schools from an obligation not to discriminate against homosexual teachers.
Held: . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Education and Employment and others ex parte Williamson and others HL 24-Feb-2005
The appellants were teachers in Christian schools who said that the blanket ban on corporal punishment interfered with their religious freedom. They saw moderate physical discipline as an essential part of educating children in a Christian manner. . .
CitedThe Christian Institute and Others, Re Application for Judicial Review QBNI 11-Sep-2007
The Claimants opposed the Regulations which prohibited discrimination or harassment on grounds of sexual orientation on the grounds inter alia that they offended orthodox Christian beliefs and violated rights under the ECHR.
Held: The . .
Appeal FromHall and Another v Bull and Another Misc 4-Jan-2011
(Bristol County Court) The claimants, homosexual partners in a civil partnership, sought damages after being refused a stay at the bed and breakfast hotel operated by the defendants, who said that this was their home, and that they were committed . .
CitedJames and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 21-Feb-1986
The claimants challenged the 1967 Act, saying that it deprived them of their property rights when lessees were given the power to purchase the freehold reversion.
Held: Article 1 (P1-1) in substance guarantees the right of property. Allowing a . .
CitedMcFarlane v Relate Avon Ltd CA 29-Apr-2010
The employee renewed his application for leave to appeal against refusal of his discrimination claim on the grounds of religious belief. He worked as a relationship sex therapist, and had signed up to the employer’s equal opportunities policy, but . .
CitedKokkinakis v Greece ECHR 25-May-1993
The defendant was convicted for proselytism contrary to Greek law. He claimed a breach of Article 9.
Held: To say that Jehovah’s Witness were proselytising criminally was excessive. Punishment for proselytising was unlawful in the . .
CitedOntario Human Rights Commission v Brockie 2002
(Ontario) A Christian printer complained that he was required to offer services to an homosexual group. The court considered that argument that it was a human rights breach to ask a person to promote what they believe to be a sin, namely sexual . .
CitedJames v Eastleigh Borough Council HL 14-Jun-1990
Result Decides Dscrimination not Motive
The Council had allowed free entry to its swimming pools to those of pensionable age (ie women of 60 and men of 65). A 61 year old man successfully complained of sexual discrimination.
Held: The 1975 Act directly discriminated between men and . .
CitedE, Regina (on The Application of) v Governing Body of JFS and Another SC 16-Dec-2009
E complained that his exclusion from admission to the school had been racially discriminatory. The school applied an Orthodox Jewish religious test which did not count him as Jewish because of his family history.
Held: The school’s appeal . .
CitedLadele v London Borough of Islington CA 15-Dec-2009
The appellant was employed as a registrar. She refused to preside at same sex partnership ceremonies, saying that they conflicted with her Christian beliefs.
Held: The council’s decision had clearly disadvantaged the claimant, and the question . .
CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza HL 21-Jun-2004
Same Sex Partner Entitled to tenancy Succession
The protected tenant had died. His same-sex partner sought a statutory inheritance of the tenancy.
Held: His appeal succeeded. The Fitzpatrick case referred to the position before the 1998 Act: ‘Discriminatory law undermines the rule of law . .
CitedCountryside Alliance and others, Regina (on the Application of) v Attorney General and Another HL 28-Nov-2007
The appellants said that the 2004 Act infringed their rights under articles 8 11 and 14 and Art 1 of protocol 1.
Held: Article 8 protected the right to private and family life. Its purpose was to protect individuals from unjustified intrusion . .
CitedMaruko v Versorgungsanstalt der deutschen Buhnen ECJ 1-Apr-2008
ECJ Grand Chamber – Equal treatment in employment and occupation – Directive 2000/78/EC – Survivors’ benefits under a compulsory occupational pensions scheme Concept of ‘pay’ – Refusal because the persons . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromBull and Another v Hall and Another SC 27-Nov-2013
The court was asked ‘Is it lawful for a Christian hotel keeper, who sincerely believes that sexual relations outside marriage are sinful, to refuse a double-bedded room to a same sex couple?’ The defendants (Mr and Mrs Bull) appealed against a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.451144