Lesbian Couple Take Hotel To Court

A lesbian couple from Hampshire are taking legal action against a hotel after they claimed they were turned away for being gay.

Rebecca Nash, 22, and Hope Stubbings, 19, said they booked a double room at the Brunswick Square Hotel in Brighton - known as the gay capital of the UK - by telephone.

But when they arrived they were told by the manager that no rooms were available and that the hotel only accepted straight couples and families.

A spokesman for the human rights group Liberty said the women, from Andover, were then ushered out of the hotel by the manager who became increasingly aggressive towards them.

He said they told him they had nowhere else to stay, but he threatened to call police unless they left.

The couple, who are both office workers, were unable to find alternative accommodation in the East Sussex city and had to drive home, missing out on their weekend away last October.

Liberty is bringing proceedings against the hotel on the couple's behalf on the grounds they were discriminated against contrary to the Equality Act 2010, which forbids discrimination because of sexual orientation in the provision of services, including hotel accommodation.

Legal director James Welch said:

"Laws prohibiting hotels and guesthouses from discriminating against gay men and lesbians have been in place for four years now, but clearly the message still isn't getting through.

"With the Equality Act 2010 now in force, my clients intend to show that they have as much right to enjoy a quiet weekend away together as any other couple.''

In an advert on a local website the hotel is described as having four poster rooms in a "beautiful seafront square''.

The hotel manager, who did not want to be named, said the incident had been a misunderstanding.

He said:

"This is Brighton, we have taken hundreds of gay people here.

"This is really upsetting. The only time we send people away is if they are loud or hooligans.''

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