'˜Heterosexual friendly' B&B removes words from website

A Highlands bed and breakfast described on its website as 'heterosexual friendly' has removed phrases after being threatened with legal action.
A view of Kinlochewe.A view of Kinlochewe.
A view of Kinlochewe.

The Cromasaig B&B in Kinlochewe, owned by Tom Forrest also featured a pictorial version of the statement “man+woman = marriage” on the site and had received several complaints.

Mr Forrest, who sparked controversy in 2004 when he refused a gay couple a double room at the guest house said “the equality act is not equal to be frank”.

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Scotland had begun action to seek a court order. However, it said yesterday that this had been halted after Mr Forrest agreed to remove the phrases voluntarily.

The commission said it was concerned that the phrases were potentially discrimatory and had initially written to Mr Forrest asking for them to be removed after receiving complaints.

When no action was taken, the commission sought a court order which would require the offending phrases to be removed.

That legal action has been halted after the statements were deleted voluntarily.

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Mr Forrest said: “What I would like to see at the end of the day is absolutely no messages up on anyone’s website saying gay friendly, heterosexual friendly or whatever – we should all be friendly.

“I put the message up as every organisation that wanted us to advertise with them – wanted us to add gay friendly on to our website.

“I did not see the necessity for it so we ended up with Walkhighlands, Stonewall and another person taking us to court through the Equalities Commission.

“Equality, to be quite frank, has gone out the window.

“We have never, ever, ever, had a problem [with a gay couple staying].

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“I put the sign up to have a go at the establishment – there are actually bed and breakfasts in this country that advertise blatantly and openly for gay males only.”

Mr Forrest said there had been a problem with people specifically asking for a double bed.

He added: “What we’re getting at the moment is people complaining because we won’t give them a double bed – the simple reason for that is we don’t have any double beds.

“So how can we give what we haven’t got?

“And this is what they’re all on about – we’re refusing to give them a double bed but we don’t have them.

“The Equalities Commission said to me in a telephone conversation – ‘what would you do if a gay couple pulled the beds together?’ – and I quite clearly said I would ask them to leave.

“They asked me what I would do if a heterosexual couple, married or otherwise did the same thing and I gave them the same answer – they would be told to leave – simple as that.”

Cromasaig B&B made headlines in 2004 when Mr Forrest refused a man’s request for a double room because he was involved in a homosexual relationship.

He said that “two gents” will only be allowed to book rooms with separate beds because he deemed homosexual relationships as “unnatural” and a “sexual deviation”.

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Lynn Welsh of the EHRC said: “I am pleased that the owners of Cromasaig B&B have agreed to remove these phrases.

“Removing the phrases will have no negative impact on their business, and alleviates EHRC’s concerns.”

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