While on this side of the pond the nation’s bishops are waging battle against the government’s incursions upon religious freedom, an interesting battle is unfolding on the other side of the pond in Great Britain.
It seems that Susanne and Mike Wilkinson who own Uf Dorf Wilkinson—a Swiss country B&B located in Cookham, Berkshire, which also serves as the couple’s home—believe the precepts of their Christian faith trump the law of the land. In this instance, that precept concerns the sanctity of marriage and the law is the Britain’s Equality Act Regulations of 2007, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when providing goods, facilities, services, education, and other public functions.
According to the UK Daily Mail, Mrs. Wilkinson told Michael Black and his partner John Morgan in March 2010 that they couldn’t sleep in a double bed at Uf Dorf. That allegedly “discriminatory” judgment led to a lawsuit that Black and Morgan have won, with the judge requiring Mrs. Wilkinson to pay Black and Morgan £3,600 in compensatory damages on the grounds of “hurt feelings.”
Responding to the judgment, Mrs. Wilkinson to the Daily Mail:
Naturally, my husband and I are disappointed to have lost the case and to have been ordered to pay £3,600 in damages for injury to feelings. We have the option to appeal, and we will give that serious consideration.
We believe a person should be free to act upon their sincere beliefs about marriage under their own roof without living in fear of the law. Equality laws have gone too far when they start to intrude into a family home.
People’s beliefs about marriage are coming under increasing attack, and I am concerned about people’s freedom to speak and act upon these beliefs. I am a Christian, not just on a Sunday in church, but in every area of my life – as Jesus expects from his followers.
That’s all I was trying to do and I think it’s quite wrong to punish me for that, especially after enduring over two years of vile abuse and threats.
In court, Mrs. Wilkinson explained to the judge that she was serious about her Christian beliefs regarding the sanctity of marriage and wasn’t discriminating because Black and Morgan are homosexual. Mrs. Wilkinson explained that she also doesn’t allow unmarried heterosexual couples to share a double bed at Uf Dorf.
That would make Mrs. Wilkinson consistent in her intolerance or, put in another way, consistent in bringing her faith into her workplace.
Mrs. Wilkinson put her finger squarely on the truth when she observed: “We find this a strange justice in a society that aspires to be increasingly tolerant.”
In the UK, it may very well be the case that the principle of “tolerance” doesn’t extent to being tolerant of traditional Christian teaching about the sanctity of marriage.
Is this a “coming attraction” of what’s soon to transpire in the United States?
To read the UK Daily Mail article, click on the following link: