The Christian owners of a Wolseley guesthouse who claimed that their religious beliefs prevented them from accommodating a same sex couple have apologised for their behaviour and have undertaken not to discriminate against anyone in future. The settlement in the Equality Court in Cape Town this week is a victory for equality.
Neil Coulsen and his husband Jonathan Sedgwick, themselves Christians, have hailed the settlement as a victory for constitutional democracy and said that part of the settlement ensured that should guesthouse owners Marina and Seth Neethling discriminate against anyone else in future they would be in contempt of court.
“We feel that it is a victory with regard to the defense of the dignity and equality of the LGBT community, and anyone else who has been victim to ‘less than equal’ treatment,” said Coulsen.
The case related to an incident in November 2013 when Coulson and Sedgwick had tried to telephonically book accommodation at a guesthouse called Watershed (since renamed House of Bread) and owned by the Neethlings. After learning that Coulsen and Sedgwick were a same-sex couple Marina Neethling informed them that her establishment was not “gay friendly”.
The Human Rights Commission acted on behalf…
Source : Daily Maverick