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Gay couple who were denied room from Christian guesthouse owners wins case

Gay couple was victorious in more ways than one

Gay couple who were denied room from Christian guesthouse owners wins case

A gay couple who won a legal case against the owners of a Christian guesthouse can now proclaim victory.

A South African court has said LGBTI people cannot be discriminated against in public services.

Neil Coulson and his husband Jonathan Sedgwick had tried to get a room at the Wolseley guesthouse in Cape Town in November 2013.

After they tried to book, they were told by owners Marina and Seth Neethling the establishment was not ‘gay friendly’.

Supported by Freedom of Religion SA, the Neethlings argued they were unable to accomodate the gay couple because ‘if they willingly and knowingly make a room available where homosexual sex will be practiced, this will make them liable to sin as they would in effect be helping the homosexual couple to sin.’

But they would ultimately lose their case at the Equality Court, announced yesterday (16 April).

As reported by the Daily Maverick, the couple’s legal head of argument pointed out the Neethlings were entitled to believe whatever they chose to believe, but they ‘subject to the laws of the country including the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation’.

Coulson concluded: ‘We feel that it is a victory with regard to the defense of the dignity and equality of the LGBT community, and anyone else who has been victim to "less than equal’ treatment".’

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