Bull and another (Appellants) v Hall and another (Respondents) is being heard at the Supreme Court today.
Meanwhile, an opinion poll has been published, which shows that:
Over 60s and under 50s sharply divided on B&B gay discrimination, new survey shows
An appeal by bed and breakfast owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull is due to be heard by the Supreme Court this week. The Bulls refused on religious grounds to let a double room to a homosexual couple in a civil partnership in 2008, and were ordered by a County Court to pay damages to the couple concerned.
A majority think it is wrong to discriminate
A nationally representative poll carried out by YouGov for the Westminster Faith Debates finds that the majority of people in Britain (57%) don’t think that B&B owners should be allowed to refuse accommodation to people based on their sexuality, whilst a third (33%) think they should and 11% ‘don’t know’. (See appendix for survey question.)
Opinion varies enormously by age
In response to the question of whether B&B owners should be allowed to refuse accommodation to people based on their sexuality, 81% of under 24s say they should not, but just 40% of those aged 60 or more agree. Half of those aged 60+ think that B&B owners should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples.
The graph below shows how much opinion differs by age. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be opposed to discrimination against people on the grounds of their sexuality. Even though gender and religion have an effect in shaping opinion, age is decisive. Thus even amongst those most likely to support discrimination – the strictest believers (who take their authority from God, scriptures, religious sources rather than their own judgement) – the current generation of young people is now opposed…
Follow this link for the graph.
The press release continues:
Most religious people do not think discrimination should be allowed
People who say they belong to a religion also disapprove of discrimination. Asked the question whether B&B owners should be allowed to refuse accommodation to people based on their sexuality, the proportion of those in all the major religious groups who say they should not be allowed outweighs the proportion who say it should.
Looking at how opinion varies by strength of belief in God, even the most certain believers are against allowing discrimination (by 49% to 41%), and as you go down the belief scale from certain belief in God to certain atheism, the margin against discrimination increases to 40% (65% to 25%)
Looking at how opinion varies amongst those who regularly participate in a religious group, the more regularly attenders are more likely to be in favour of allowing discrimination. Those who attend at least once a week are in favour by 53% to 36%. The more rarely you attend a religious group the less you are in favour.
Amongst all religious people those most in favour of allowing discrimination are the small group who look to God (48% to 36%), scripture (50% to 37%), or traditions/teachings of religion (49% to 35%) for their main authority in life.
And there is more.