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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
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My girlfriend and I booked a holiday with a Christian holiday

Resolved Question:

My girlfriend and I booked a holiday with a Christian holiday company (UK), and we have been told that because we aren't married we cannot share the same twin bedroom; we would have to have separate rooms. This is because the Bible teaches that people should sleep together if there are not married.
Based on the Bull and Bull Vs Preddy and Hall case, is this also discrimination against us because we are not married?
I work as a worship leader in an Anglican Church!
Thank you
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
We have paid a £50 deposit and nowhere could I see a restriction on married couples. They have families and couples and singles go on their holidays.After booking online, I had a call from a representative of the company who's ONLY purpose for calling was to clarify why we had different surnames and when I stated we were not married to each other, she stated that we could not share a room. They are twin rooms in a hotel in Andorra.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
To clarify - they said we cannot share a room as we are unmarried. The bible teaches that you should NOT sleep together unless married. This is not a view shared by all Christians, including us.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Are you asking if this amounts to religious discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi,
I'm asking if it amounts to discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010 not just on a religious basis. If you look at the case I mentioned, a homosexual couple were denied a room in a B&B due to the owners Christian beliefs.
I feel my case is worse as its not my sexual orientation that is causing the problem, it's our status as an unmarried couple.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
There is no discrimination contrary to marital status unless it impacts one sex more than the other in which case it would amount to indirect sex discrimination. In your situation it impacts both males and females equally so would not come under that. In the case that you mention the discrimination that occurred was due to the sexual orientation of the claimants which is a protected characteristic under the Act. Being unmarried is not a protected characteristic. I understand why you are cross about this but I am struggling to see the claim especially as your share the same religious belief as the organisation who is making the rule. The only reason for the treatment is your marital status (which is not a protected characteristic as I already explained). Your only potential claim would be that it is discrimination based on religious belief in access to service. In that not all Christians believe that you should not share a bedroom. It is an interesting case to argue and you could sertainly try to pursue a claim on that basis. If you have any further question please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.Although we share the same fundamental religious belief as the organisation, we do not share their view (and many others wouldn't either) that unmarried couples cannot sleep together prior to marriage.Ultimately, the factor that was fatal to the Bulls’ case was that the equality legislation provides that civil partnership is an equivalent circumstance to marriage. It was not open to the Bulls to argue that they were entitled to draw a distinction between married couples and civil partners. Therefore are we not being discriminated against for that?As civil partners are therefore in the same position as married couples and yet were treated less favourably, it was surely inevitable that the finding of direct discrimination would follow.
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
The cause of action has to be one under the Equality Act which means it has to be discrimination based on a protected characteristic. Marital status or not being married is not a protected characteristic. The fact that in the Bull case the owners could not draw a distinction between civil partners and marriage is relevant to the discrimination based on the protected characteristic of sexual orientation. It does not have a bearing on your situation at all as there is no discrimination based on a protected characteristic. If because of unmarried status a person offering a room refuses to do so because of their religious belief an unmarried couple may be able to argue that this amounts to religious discrimination because of their lack of religious belief. This would be an interesting test case. As I said earlier your only claim would be on the basis of religious belief here. I would be grateful if you would now take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise credited for my time. I will be happy to answer your follow on questions. Thank you and all the best.
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
Jenny and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Excellent service and fast answers to my questions.Thank you!
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
No problem. All the best for it and thanks for taking the time to rate my answer. Appreciated!

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