Lesbians start legal fight after being denied hotel room

By Ian Dunt

Two lesbians who were denied a double room at a hotel are launching a legal challenge with the help of civil liberty advocates.

Rebecca Nash and Hope Stubbings were allegedly denied the hotel room at the Brunswick Square Hotel in Brighton because it only accepted ‘couples and families’.

“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,” said James Welch, legal director of Liberty, which is bringing legal proceedings against the hotel on the couple’s behalf.

“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.”

The manager of the hotel insisted to politics.co.uk that the two women had not made a booking and that they had not been rejected because of their sexuality.

But according to Liberty, the manager had told the women “no two boys, no two girls” before losing his temper and ushering them out the hotel.

The Equality Act, which forbids discrimination in the provision of goods and services, applies to hotels, but claimants would need to demonstrate that they had been treated differently to a heterosexual couple.

The case follows a row over the John Snow pub, which recently saw hundreds of gay men conduct a ‘kiss-in’ after a young gay couple on their first date were allegedly thrown out for kissing.