Isle of Man lesbian couple denied accommodation because of ‘ugly and outdated’ religious prejudice

THE man behind the refusal to let a house to a lesbian couple on the Isle of Man was today exposed as the minister at the Ramsey Independent Methodist Church.

Keith Price said his decision was guided by his religious beliefs based on scripture, but Manx’s Chief Minister Allan Bell lashed out at what he called “ugly, outdated prejudice”.

Price said:

We are not homophobic but we do have a stance on sexuality. We understood that they [Ms Izzard and Ms Cull] were not a family so we said we couldn’t proceed [with the rental agreement].

We believe that God has a plan for our lives within the context of marriage, the scripture is quite clear in its teaching on this.

In exposing Price’s bigotry, the pair highlighted the absence of an Equality Act on the Isle of Man, saying that it allows landlords to discriminate against gay couples.

Manx Chief Minister Allan Bell has now promised to speed-up the progress of an equality bill, currently in the drafting stage.

Allan Bell

Allan Bell

He insisted the rights of minorities must be respected in the Island after years of effort to create an inclusive society.

Bell added:

I am extremely disappointed that this type of ugly, outdated prejudice survives after all the work that has been done over the past 20 years or so to make the island a more tolerant place.

I do believe our society today is generally much more tolerant than it used to be. But this incident shows there are still isolated pockets of bigotry that can only be tackled through legislation.

An Equality Bill, based on the UK Equality Act 2010, is already in the drafting process and will deal with discrimination of this kind. I have asked that preparation of this legislation be accelerated.

Kira-Laura

Kira Izzard, pictured left above with Laura said she was relieved to hear about Mr Bell’s reaction.

I am over the moon to know that people are taking this seriously –  the chief minister has said he will move the legislation on and we believe him, we have no reason not to.