Bull and another v Hall and another [2013] UKSC 73

The Supreme Court heard a high profile appeal on the law of discrimination, concerning Christian hotel owners whose religious beliefs meant that they were only prepared to let double rooms to heterosexual married couples. A homosexual couple in a civil partnership were refused a double room and brought proceedings under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 alleging direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.  The Supreme Court upheld the decisions of all the courts below that the homosexual couple had been the victims of direct discrimination and that the interference in the Regulations with the right to manifest religious belief was a proportionate means to protect the rights and freedoms of others. The judgment made it clear that this finding did not favour sexual orientation over religious belief: the refusal to let a hotel room to persons on the grounds of their Christian beliefs would equally be protected by the law’s prohibition of discrimination.