Let’s get one thing straight: if and when the time comes when I become sufficiently desperate to open my home as a bed & breakfast gay couples will be more than welcome. So welcome, in fact, that I’ll advertise specially in the Gay Times and at Gaydarnation.com, as well as buying in the collected recordings of Judy Garland, plus decorating the walls with lots of prints by Robert Mapplethorpe and Tom of Finland, just to make sure they feel right at home.
Why? Because the point of running a B & B is to make money. No one suffers the intrusion of strangers into their own home, nor the tedium of having to get up early in the morning to make those strangers breakfast, except in the knowledge that it will help them pay their bills. The pink pound is a strong pound. The gay tourist market will always be a thriving one because it’s not bound by school holidays and because gay people generally have money to burn because they’re not wasting all their money on children.
So just imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where there was no anti-discrimination legislation. Do you think this would lead to a massive increase in the number of B & B owners and hoteliers turning away gay couples? Do you think there would be a revival of pubs with signs on the door saying: “No dogs, blacks, Irish”? Only in the foetid imaginings of bien-pensant control freaks. Definitely not in reality.
The reason for this is, apart from the financial one mentioned above, Britain is much more cosmopolitan than it was forty or fifty years ago. A pub that put such a horrible sign outside its door would rightly be stigmatised. And social stigma is, contra what most libtard bleeding-hearts think, a generally good thing. It’s the way society signals what is acceptable and unacceptable, without the need for professional grievance mongers like Harriet Harman to stick their oar in and invoke the apparatus of state control.
And if the pub were prepared to brave that social stigma? Well, fine. It’s a business, not a government outreach programme. It’s not spending taxpayers’ money so why shouldn’t it be able to choose its clientele based on whichever criteria it wishes, be it class, race, looks or a strong interest in trainspotting? If the discriminated-against minority is offended, well, tough. There are plenty of other establishments out there catering to the needs of any number of minority interests. That’s what’s great about the free market: somewhere out there, there’s a service designed just for you.
And just suppose that gay couple which won a cool £1800 each in damages had instead gone to that hotel in Cornwall with its longstanding ban on unmarried couples. How much fun do you imagine they might have had? Not much, unless masochism is the bag they’re into. Hoteliers are very good at signalling their disapproval to guests who are not welcome: all those frosty looks the couple would have got; all that muttering just out of earshot; all that stiff, unhelpful service.
Of course I sympathise with the gay couple – Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy – if, as they say, they only realised when they turned up on the doorstep what the hotel’s policy was. But that just proves how counter-productive the discrimination law is: had it not existed, the hotel’s owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull would have been free to advertise their policy. And then none of this upset would have happened.
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