I have been watching the Supreme Court case of the Christian B&B owners who have been sued by a gay couple on the grounds of discrimination. I am sure that people in the UK are aware of this case.
There have been long and complicated arguments over the past hour in the court and the one thing that has struck me more than anything else is that it is sad that it has come to this.
The Christian B&B owners are an elderly couple who some would say hold rather conservative and old-fashioned religious beliefs. The argument in the court has been about whether a gay couple would be treated in the same way as a married couple. As this has happened many years ago and the marriage equality act hadn’t been implicated some say that it couldn’t be the same as a married couple and therefore choosing to deny a room to a gay couple is tantamount to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
I feel it is sad that it has come to this point. Very sad. These sort of cases are continually pushed into the media causing hurt and division but I don’t blame the reporting of such cases as they are certainly in the public interest to be heard. What I do feel is the continuing isolation between the mainstream church and gay community is certainly apparent and wrong. Both sides could learn a lot from each other and have a lot to give.
A community where compassion forgiveness and understanding seems to be lacking. The established church is continuing to be increasingly irrelevant not just to young people but to all generations. The Christian argument is that scripture is clear and its moral code and the understanding of this doesn’t change. What the Christian couple have failed to understand is the hurt in which their religious beliefs has caused to the original gay couple involved but to the community.
Murder, rape, torture and child neglect or abuse is morally repugnant and wrong. The majority of a sane normal society would find these acts abhorrent. What the Christian couple have said is they believe that people who are gay are also part of the problem sin and apply this to unmarried straight couples as well. But how many hotels and B&B now in this ‘enlightened’ age would turn away a couple who is unmarried? It would certainly become more difficult to determine whether a straight couple were married compared to a couple who are in a gay relationship.
Also in what circumstances would you impose Christian teachings to someone who is staying in your home? I am sure some wouldn’t allow unmarried couples to share the same bed but would we also expect people to observe sabbatical laws? Or perhaps not to covet the hotel owners shiny new car on their drive?
Let’s face it the church has the biggest hang-up about sex. Particularly sexual relations between people of the same gender. Does the established Church continue to ploughs its beliefs no matter what the consequence or outcome believing in a divine rule or do both sides try to come to a rational and sensible understanding?
My belief is that there should always be dialogue. It’s those who close the door and turn away others that I find morally reprehensible