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B & B's refusal to accommodate a gay couple is unlawful

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Earlier this year the Court of Appeal upheld the tribunal ruling in Black and Morgan v Wilkinson and confirmed that those providing services to the public can be held accountable for discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

Michael Black and John Morgan won their legal case against B&B owner Susanne Wilkinson, who declined to let them have a double bedroom in March 2010 because of her religious views. Michael and John’s claim was made under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 and argued that it was unlawful for a person providing services to the public to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation. The judgment held that Mrs Wilkinson had breached equality legislation by unlawfully discriminating against the couple on the grounds of their sexual orientation. The couple were awarded damages in the sum of £3,600.

Ms Wilkinson has confirmed she is considering taking further legal steps to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court.

By Rebecca Walmsley, employment law team