News

Gay couple brush off right-wing nut-job Nick Griffin’s ‘damp squib’ threat

THE gay couple who won a B&B discrimination case this week said today they were not concerned about comments made on BNP leader Nick Griffin’s Twitter account.

Far-right lunatic Nick Griffin, MEP, who once described gay people as ‘creepy’

Michael Black and John Morgan, of Brampton, near Huntingdon, won a landmark ruling on Thursday after being turned away from a Christian guesthouse.

Later, their address was published on Griffin’s Twitter account, which also called for a demonstration outside their home, and the police are investigating this stupid man’s call for a “justice team” to give the couple:

A bit of drama.

Griffin is also in hot water this week for using Twiitter to attack Catholics, and has been forced to apologise over his use of the term “Fenian”.

The swivel-eyed bigot says here:

The British National Party is most definitely not anti-Catholic or anti-Irish. A large number of our officials, activists and supporters on the mainland are Catholics, either by upbringing or active religious profession. We are the only party speaking up in defence of traditional Christian values and recognise that the Catholic Church has been more faithful to those values than the Church of England.

Meanwhile, Black, according to the BBC, described Griffin’s comments as a “damp squib” that would “fizzle out”.

It would be difficult for people to gather as we live in a small village and there’s nowhere to park.

Among the tweets on the @nickgriffinmep account were two which read:

So Messrs Black & Morgan, at [their address]. A British Justice team will come up to Huntington & give you a…

“…bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple’s home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!

An earlier tweet on the North West region MEP’s account had asked for the couple’s address and then said:

We’ll hold demo… for rights of all home owners, gays included, to rent or not rent rooms to whomsoever they wish.

Griffin’s Twitter account has now been suspended.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5live earlier, Griffin said he spoke out for the “silent majority”.

They [Black and Morgan] used and abused the system to persecute a Christian couple. I think people have the right to discriminate.

He claimed that the reference “give you a bit of drama” in his tweet was commenting on the fact the couple are involved in amateur dramatics, and he had only wanted a “peaceful” demonstration.

Black, 64, and Morgan, 59, went to court after they were refused a double room at Swiss Bed and Breakfast, in Berkshire, by its owner, Susanne Wilkinson.

When they arrived in March 2010, the owner would not let them stay in a room with a double bed.

Recorder Claire Moulder said that by refusing the couple access to a double room, Wilkinson had

Treated them less favourably than she would treat unmarried heterosexual couples in the same circumstances.

However, the recorder accepted that Wilkinson was genuine about her Christian beliefs and had also stopped unmarried heterosexual couples from sharing a double bed.

Wilkinson’s legal defence was paid for by The Christian Institute, “a national charity that protects the civil liberty of Christians”, and was therefore bound to fail.

CI spokesman Mike Judge, who must hold a world record for failed cases involving “persecuted Christians”,  said:

Yes, Mrs Wilkinson’s B&B is a business, but it’s also a family home. The law should be more flexible in allowing people to live according to their own values under their own roof. A bit more balance is needed, rather than allowing one set of rights to automatically suppress another.

Meanwhile, it is reported here that a New York-based lesbian couple have been forced to search for a new wedding venue after being turned away by a rural farm upstate.

Melisa Erwin and her fiancée Jennie McCarthy had hoped to tie the knot at Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke next summer, but say the Christian owners, Cynthia and Robert Gifford refused to host their ceremony because they’re lesbians.

Robert Gifford said:

I think it’s our right to choose who we market to, like any business…we are a family business, and we just feel we ought to stay down the family path.

New York, however, may feel differently, as the state’s Human Rights Law bans places of accommodation from discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation. Erwin and McCarthy have since filed a complaint, but as the Village Voice points out, New York’s same-sex marriage legislation is so new, there will be no prior case law for a judge to consider. It asked:

Bigots have had the right to be fear-mongering assholes since the drafting of the U.S. Constitution – but do they have the right to decide to not host a wedding because the two people getting married happen to be lesbians?

In August, another New York lesbian couple settled a lawsuit against Vermont’s Wildflower Inn after the bed and breakfast refused to host their wedding reception, according to the Associated Press. Under the terms of the settlement, the inn also agreed it would no longer host weddings or receptions.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn and Agent Cormac

 

48 Responses to “Gay couple brush off right-wing nut-job Nick Griffin’s ‘damp squib’ threat”

  1. barriejohn says:

    I still cannnot understand for the life of me why the BBC invited Griffin onto the Question Time panel. The man is beyond parody.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    The BNP claiming to be “the only party speaking up in defence of traditional Christian values” tells you everything you need to know about those loathsome persecuted christians whose shrill little voices keep being raised as their ‘rights’ to be bigots, censors and hate mongers are gradually closed down.

    The BNP, Christian Legal Centre, Christian Voice, Catholic League (I could go on) are all indistinguishable from each other – christian in name, fascist in nature.

  3. barriejohn says:

    It’s a bit rich that Griffin should describe anyone as “creepy”!

  4. […] Nick Griffin is still not my MEP By Ian Pattinson So Nick Griffin- leader of the two men and a senile dog that is the remnants of the BNP- sent a believably stupid tweet threatening “drama” outside the home of a gay couple who …. […]

  5. Carasek says:

    Griffin’s so hot under the collar that his face has melted. Charming man…

  6. tony e says:

    Barriejohn,

    When I watched that Question Time episode I thought both the BBC and Griffin came out of it looking bad.

    As I am not a fan of either it was a good result as far as I was concerned.

  7. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    @barriejohn: He’s an elected politician so they should have him on. What they did wrong was to make the program about him, that elevated his status. They should have had a normal program, that would have exposed him as the idiot that he is and that his party has no sensible policies on anything.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Just take a look at some of the comments about this story on the Mail site:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219993/Nick-Griffin-Twitter-rant-gay-B-B-couple-investigated-police-tweets-home-address.html

    Philip, London – The point is that Gods law is higher than the law of the land. When the law of the land violates the law of God then the law of God should take precident. This is nothing more than an ill disguised attempt to hound christians from the workplace.

    Just about the biggest load of patronizing bullshit that I have ever come across!

  9. barriejohn says:

    Nick Griffin reminds me too much of the riots taking place in Greece, attacking the migrants and wearing Nazi uniforms. Is that what we want in this country? Too many gave their lives stopping the last lot. He is a bully boy and giving him any power would open a Pandora’s box.

    Red arrowed!

  10. Tim Brierley says:

    Barriejohn

    Thanks for the link.

    Amazing how many of the Daily Homophobe readers think it unfair to publish the B&B’s address but not the couple who sued.

    Not sure about the business model for a B&B that has a policy of not publishing its address!

    Obviously lost on the clowns who read the ‘newspaper’

  11. Stuart W says:

    Apparently Griffin asked why ‘why don’t left and gay activists confront Muslims instead of picking on meek and forgiving Christians?’
    Has he forgotten that not so long ago Islamic zealots were prosecuted for putting up anti-gay stickers around the East End and for putting leaflets making inflammatory comments about homosexuals through letter boxes?
    The guest house owner’s behaviour didn’t sound so ‘meek and forgiving’ to me.

  12. AgentCormac says:

    Tim Brierley

    If The Hate Mail won’t, I happily will:

    The Swiss Bed and Breakfast
    Uf Dorf
    Terry’s Lane
    Cookham
    Maidenhead
    Berkshire
    SL6 9RT
    Tel 1: 07758 505 014
    Tel 2: 07769 648 003

  13. barriejohn says:

    On the occasion it is a B&B, next it will be churches picked off one by one, as they follow the teachings of the one true God…Gay seems to rule, or so they think
    christ123ian, Chelmsford, United Kingdom, 19/10/2012 12:19

    I have the distinct impression that BNP members are targeting that site this today. I can’t believe that even “Middle England” have THAT much admiration for Griffin!

  14. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: I think you’ll find that it’s “Fuck Orf”!

  15. chrsbol says:

    It would be difficult for people to gather as we live in a small village and there’s nowhere to park.

    Brilliant……….

  16. Trevor Blake says:

    Same-sex related laws in the USA are not uniform. There are not many federal laws on the subject and they are mixed (no marriage and no military ban, both). I have a limited knowledge of these laws.

    I do know that b&b’s and apartments rented in houses where the owner lives are allowed to discriminate who they rent to. A woman owner who only wants a wan tenant, for example. Or refusing to build wheelchair ramps. Or allow blacks or lesbians or atheists. Hotels and the like cannot do so.

  17. Ballus Maximus says:

    Am I the only one who saw that picture and thought of the Goonies?

    “Heyy youuuu guysss!”

  18. Daz says:

    With all the talk of what is and isn’t appropriate to free speech online, “they”seem to have missed the most obvious one, which should be considered a crime: Publishing someone’s physical address and (if appropriate) real name, and any other personal details, without that persons permission.

    Mind you, any intelligent, decent, thoughtful person already sees it as at least impolite. But then, Griffin is neither intelligent, nor decent nor thoughtful…

  19. barriejohn says:

    He is reportedly twittering on again now:

    http://news.uk.msn.com/blog/trending-blogpost.aspx?post=eac75be8-52ee-427c-ba84-d48226ab4f20

    It would be nice to think that he might possibly be offended by some of those comments, but we know, of course, that his type just glory in their notoriety.

  20. Stonyground says:

    “…next it will be churches picked off one by one…”

    Unlike B&Bs, churches have special rights to ignore laws on discrimination. In any case, the notion that the evil gays will somehow eliminate churches one at a time is just bizarre. You really do wonder what on earth goes on in these people’s heads. Churches will die off one by one anyway because they only appeal to old people, who will inevitably die off one by one.

  21. Matt Westwood says:

    Terribly sorry to disagree, but I believe that a person running a business should be allowed to do business with whomever they want. I would not want to stay at a B&B run by religious fascists, and I may be one of many-many, of course, and their business may well suffer as a result, which would be natural justice.

    But I don’t think it should be up to the law to tell people whom it must do business with.

    Griffin is, of course, a complete cunt. He’s getting a brutal kicking from me when he’s in range.

  22. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Sorry Matt, gotta disagree. Business’s should not be allowed to discriminate in this fashion. That’s what the equality laws are there for.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Matt: It is against the law to discriminate against people, or to withhold services from them, on the basis of age, gender, sexuality, disability, race, religion or belief, and so on (apart from religious institutions and ministers of religion, of course!). Anyone running a business should be aware of that. It is possible to refuse to do business with people if you have a valid reason, but not on the basis of prejudice or bigotry, which is as it should be.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_Act_2010

  24. remigius says:

    Matt. It wasn’t so long ago that such establishments had a card in the window saying ‘NO BLACKS’. Do really want to go back to that system?

  25. remigius says:

    But be careful barriejohn, equality can go too far…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubuti_system

  26. barriejohn says:

    Or “I bubuti you for your wife”, Remigius! I’m sure that millions of teenage boys have already thought of the possibility of availing themselves of the services of brothels on the basis that age discrimination is now illegal!!

  27. remigius says:

    barriejohn. I was once the richest man in Kiribati. Once!

  28. Matt Westwood says:

    If I had something to sell, and someone I didn’t like wanted to buy it, I would exercise my personal right (borne of the fact that I have the ability to make a personal decision) not to sell to that person.

    If the pigs want to lock me up for that then several of them would be dead before I hit the floor of the pig-pen.

  29. remigius says:

    Matt. Does ‘…someone I didn’t like’ necessarily apply to an entire demographic?

  30. jay says:

    I have some mixed feelings about this (especially the other cases mentioned). Seriously.

    Essential services: food, conventional hotel rooms, gasoline, medical etc need to be open to anyone. But as you get farther away from essential services: wedding planners, photographers, even wedding sites that have a consistent policy, it’s not so black and white. Why should someone be REQUIRED to enter a contract with someone they’re uncomfortable with (regardless of whether we feel that discomfort is justified).

    A few years ago a US circuit court (13?) ruled against a roommate matching service that allowed people to list preferences of gender, orientation, religion etc. And I have a big problem with that decision. It’s one thing for a rental apartment because that is a straight up business arrangement, your life and your tenant’s life don’t really mix. However, a person sharing a room in your home is a very different thing–that person is MUCH more intimately involved in your daily life. NO ONE should be forced by government to violate their comfort zone.

    When you go to a commercial hotel, it’s one thing. You have your room, you’re not involved with the owners or the other guess. When you book rooms in a private home, even if there is a business component, it’s really a different matter.

    Flame away, but right of association is pretty important to me.

  31. remigius says:

    Jay. ‘Why should someone be REQUIRED to enter a contract…’

    No-one is REQUIRED to enter into a contract. First of all there is an Invitation to Treat followed by an Offer.

    If that Offer is Accepted with due Consideration then a Contract is made.

    Simples!

  32. remigius says:

    I knew all those years at Law School would some day come in handy!

  33. barriejohn says:

    If it’s a business then you don’t have the right to refuse people just because you don’t like them. And, once again, do we want to put the clock back to the days when someone could refuse to share a room with a black person? That puts it into sharp focus. As Remigius says, this isn’t a question of clashing personalities – which will always occur, human nature being what it is – but of raw bigotry.

  34. JohnMWhite says:

    “If I had something to sell, and someone I didn’t like wanted to buy it, I would exercise my personal right (borne of the fact that I have the ability to make a personal decision) not to sell to that person.

    If the pigs want to lock me up for that then several of them would be dead before I hit the floor of the pig-pen.”

    That’s simply childish. Pointless boasting is best left to the playground. You know better. Aside from the fact that the pigs are so violently out of control they’ll shoot blind people in the back with tazers, so you’re unlikely to be remotely able to deal with them should they come knocking, it is simply bloodymindedness to insist that you have the right to open a business and then only serve people you want to. You don’t. This attitude not only has the seriously sinister connotations of the days when certain people weren’t allowed to buy or work or live in certain places (from the pogroms of Europe to the buses of Alabama to the shipyards of Belfast) it has a dangerous potential to completely cut off certain people from society.

    Imagine if all the hotels in town decide they don’t want to serve gay customers. Imagine if all the pharmacies in town decide they don’t want to give much-needed medication to unwed women. Imagine if all the fuel stations in town decide they don’t want to give gas to black people, and the KKK are coming down the street behind them. There are many reasons why it is simply not ok for businesses to discriminate, and too freaking bad if you demand the right to do so, you don’t have it and you sound like a petulant bigot if you insist you be allowed to interfere in people going about their business because you don’t like them. Why do that to yourself?

  35. jay says:

    “No-one is REQUIRED to enter into a contract. First of all there is an Invitation to Treat followed by an Offer”

    Not sure what you mean. If someone comes to you and requests your services, under law you CANNOT refuse on the basis of certain (as specified by whatever law is currently in vogue) protected class. This appears to be the case with the referenced wedding venue lawsuit, as well as a recent catering company lawsuit. Even rejecting the contract on a ‘legitimate’ basis can open you to a lawsuit.

    I knew someone who was selling her house. She entered into a preliminary contract with a black woman who then failed to come up with the agreed down payment several times over a period of many months. After she had enough of this, she cancelled the contract and found herself both the subject of a lawsuit and charges of violating discrimination law from the state.

    “Imagine if all the hotels in town decide they don’t want to serve gay customers. Imagine if all the pharmacies in town decide they don’t want to give much-needed medication to unwed women. ”'”

    DID I NOT MAKE MYSELF CLEAR ENOUGH? Did I not specifically reference essential immediate services (food, general lodging, fuel, medical, etc)? I am referring to optional activities, which in some cases involve much more personal interaction between the customer. NO ONE needs to contract with a specific wedding site or caterer. I also clearly differentiated conventional hotels where there is little or no social interaction between the management and guests, or between guests and guests, and rooming in private homes where the interaction is decidedly more personal. And what about roommates? Should a person be required to ‘neutrally’ accept any roommate regardless of religious affiliation, sexual lifestyle, or gender?

    [BTW the phrase “what if everyone…” is often the beginning of a straw man argument, because in many cases ‘everyone’ is not going to do the particular action. Even the terrible issues of segregation in the old south were made much worse because the law REQUIRED segregation. This was not something that all businesses got together and did, the law forced them to. When I was very young in the 50s, my parents belonged to a religion that explicitly opposed segregation, but in the south even they could not integrate services]

  36. barriejohn says:

    Sorry, Jay, but you’re not convincng me, despite your use of capitals! The case of the black woman (allegedly) crying “racism” when a contract is ended with good reason doesn’t negate the fact that people shouldn’t be able to refuse to enter into contracts with black people. And what on earth is a “protected class”? We are talking about protection for people who have suffered years of humiliating, degrading, and often financially disadvantaging discrimination.

    Should a person be required to ‘neutrally’ accept any roommate regardless of religious affiliation, sexual lifestyle, or gender? Well, common sense should prevail in such cases, but then should a person be able to arbitrarily refuse to accept a rommmate on the basis of their religion or sexuality (gender perhaps being a different proposition) – or on the basis of race, which I notice that you have omitted there!

  37. barriejohn says:

    I see that the BNP are keeping that Mail thread active, as others have commented. Several perfectly sane comments have reveived over a thousand red arows now (more, of course, as we have no idea who also “liked” them), which is the most negative response to liberal views that I have seen anywhere on the internet to date. As someone so rightly pointed out, Griffin (supposedly) saw nothing wrong in publishing the address of these two men, yet screamed bluse murder when addresses of BNP supporters were broadcast on the net – hahaha!!!

  38. barriejohn says:

    I am a bit miffed that my own humble contribution to the debate has only attracted, on balance, 33 red arrows so far. I think this is probably because I began with a quote from a Christian wing-nut, and they probably didn’t get far enough to realize that I was contradicting his erudite opinion. (I’ve noticed before that beginning with a contrary quote does confuse the poor dears!)

    Philip, London – The point is that Gods law is higher than the law of the land. When the law of the land violates the law of God then the law of God should take precident. This is nothing more than an ill disguised attempt to hound christians from the workplace. – Anon, CHIPPENHAM, 19/10/2012 11:07 Which god, and, if a “christian” country, which interpretation of what “god” wants? There was a story on the internet two days ago about an evangelical christian pastor who thinks that husbands should beat their wives more to bring them into submission to “god’s will”. Would this sort of behaviour be acceptable on the basis that it is taught by books like the Bible? We have secular laws which the vast majority of the population deem civilized and sensible, and if some feel that obeying them goes against what the Bible teaches, then let them remember that according to their same Bible every soul should be “subject unto the higher powers” because “the powers that be are ordained of God”!

    Biblical quotes from Romans 13:1, but then anyone who tries to follow “biblical teaching” on any subject is going to get into a real mess anyway, as the book is so wondrously contradictory!

  39. Tom80 says:

    “Recorder Claire Moulder said that by refusing the couple access to a double room, Wilkinson had Treated them less favourably than she would treat unmarried heterosexual couples in the same circumstances.
    However, the recorder accepted that Wilkinson was genuine about her Christian beliefs and had also stopped unmarried heterosexual couples from sharing a double bed.”

    Bit Odd this! Haven’t heard of court case regarding unmarried heterosexual couple suing for discrimination, why not I wonder.

    If the couple owning the guest house told those trying to book a room the terms and conditions ref homosexual and unmarried couples prior to taking the booking then I see no reason whey there should be a court case.

    I am an ex serviceman and when I was in uniform in some towns pubs and clubs would refuse us entry because we were servicemen and I believe this still continues. Under the circumstances a little common sense on both sides would have avoided a court case. If ,when I was in uniform, I went to a pub and they said sorry we don’t serve servicemen then I just went and found one that did, no fuss at all.

    If the couple owning the guest house have a deep faith and run their business according to that faith I see no harm in this provided when taking bookings they make this clear. As for the homosexual couple if told the conditions the answer would be thankyu, I’ll take my custom elsewhere.

  40. barriejohn says:

    Bit Odd this! Haven’t heard of court case regarding unmarried heterosexual couple suing for discrimination, why not I wonder.

    Because there’s no law against it, that’s why. Maybe there should be, and maybe this couple should move with the times, or wake up to the fact that they are eminently unsuited to providing the service that they purport to provide!

  41. jay says:

    “! The case of the black woman (allegedly) crying “racism” when a contract is ended with good reason doesn’t negate the fact that people shouldn’t be able to refuse to enter into contracts with black people. ”

    I agree that certain essential services must be available, and my example was to illustrate abuse of the system, but housing is an essential service. Unfortunately the result is a byproduct of the extreme ease of filing a frivolous legal action in that area. That may not have been clear. (BTW ‘protected class’ was used in it’s legal sense, terminology may be different in other countries)

    However, just because essential services exist, does not mean that it’s necessary to apply those standards to every aspect of human business. I think the lawsuits over the refusal of a caterer or the reception hall to gay weddings are examples of taking this way over the top. If you owned a business (advertising, catering, facility) and someone approached you for an anti-abortion event, or an anti gay marriage rally, would you not want the right to turn them down without being sued?

    Personal example: When my now wife and I decided to get married, we had both been married before and had no desire to do the big schtick… so instead we opted for a Gatlinburg wedding (sort of the east coast version of Vegas wedding) in a schlocky wedding mill. A couple of the places stated they would not take ‘God’ out of the ceremony because of their religious convictions. Probably I could have made a legal stink about it.. but as far as I am concerned, they have as much right to insist on that as I have to choose someone else. Problem solved.

    As with the room mate issue: race was not intentionally left out, unlike the arm’s length arrangement of renting an apartment, a person should (and morally, if not always legally) DOES have the right to choose whom they wish to live with, even if his reasoning appears prejudiced.

  42. barriejohn says:

    I think that allowing discrimination in the provision of “non-essential” services is a slippery slope. And I do NOT think that people should be able to refuse to share rooms on the basis of prejudice, whether racial or other.

  43. jay says:

    “I think that allowing discrimination in the provision of “non-essential” services is a slippery slope”.

    Law must be a tool of last resort, when no other option is viable and the requirement is overwhelming. When you expand the law to cover all sorts of trivial circumstances (Is there a fundamental human right to purchase a wedding cake from a particular vendor?) you erode, no mock, the entire concept of freedom.

    This is where I found myself breaking with some the modern ‘liberal’ mindset. They’re all for freedom unless people use freedom to think, say and do things that aren’t approved. Then government coercion is the response, just like any authoritarian process.

    Freedom must not be contingent on correct think. Without freedom, where the goverment can second-guess motivations, none of us have anything. When you take away people’s freedom, they fight back.

    So tell me, if you owned an advertising business, and the local Catholic church tried to hire you to do an anti-abortion campaign, would you not want the right to turn them down? (Note that unlike a serving them a meal in a restaurant, which should be protected, advertising requires you to get somewhat intimately involved in their cause).

    “do NOT think that people should be able to refuse to share rooms on the basis of prejudice, whether racial or other.”

    So you feel that the government can rightly deny your choice to not to select a fundie Christian or Muslim as a room mate?

  44. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    So tell me, if you owned an advertising business, and the local Catholic church tried to hire you to do an anti-abortion campaign, would you not want the right to turn them down?

    No. I am in business to make money, their money is as good as anyone else’s. Besides which, I believe in free speech so, although I would be against their campaign, I would support their right to campaign.

  45. barriejohn says:

    Jay: I was in sympathy with some of what you were saying, but you are now being ridiculous! The law is only being applied (in Europe at any rate) in the case of certain types of discrimination – usually concerning things over which people have no control (like race, gender and sexuality) and also religion and belief. I most certainly would not refuse to do business with fundamentalist Christians, for instance, though I don’t see that the anti-discrimination laws would prevent anyone from choosing not to support some campaign that they fundamentally disagreed with. And as for not having a fundamentalist or Muslim roommate: whyever not?

  46. remigius says:

    Jay. No one is required to enter into a contract with anyone. Everyone has the right to refuse to enter into a contract if they do not wish to do so.

    None of the cases were brought under contract law, they were subject to discrimination legislation. Tis totally different law!

  47. Matt Westwood says:

    “And as for not having a fundamentalist or Muslim roommate: whyever not?”

    I would actually rather have Sheldon Cooper as a roommate …