I have to make an admission here – I reached the grand old age of 50 this year – so I very much grew up in the 70s. I have, as a result of a happy childhood, got a soft spot for the 1970s, despite his reputation as the decade that taste forgot. I’m a huge Bowie and Roxy Music fan [to those of you under 40 – they were the really cool artists in the 70s]. However, I am amazed when other people to need to behave as if it is still 1975.
The latest example came in the legal case of Bull and Another v Hall and Another – which made it all the way to the Court of Appeal.
The case concerned a gay couple who had been refused a room in a hotel on the basis that they were unmarried – though they have already booked the room. The Court of Appeal, in its wisdom, concluded that there had been clear discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. In effect, by insisting that only a married couple could share a room, the hotel were effectively discriminating against gay couples – who, in the absence of gay marriage, could never satisfy this hotel’s particular requirement.
It’s worth noting that under the new Equality Act, it is not considered discrimination for any employer [or hotel for that matter] to allow access to services, facilities and benefits – if such availability is restricted to both civil partners and married couples.