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British gay couple offended by double bed ban


June 30, 2004

LONDON — It was a true clash of cultures. Stephen Nock, a gay man from London, assumed it would be a matter of routine to book a double room at a remote Scottish guest house for himself and his long-term partner.

But Tom Forrest, owner of the bed-and-breakfast accommodation in the Scottish Highlands, where a sometimes stern Presbyterian spirit remains strong, had other ideas.

He would be happy to rent the couple a room with twin beds at the guest house in the village of Kinlochewe, "but we will not condone your perversion" with a double bed, he wrote in an e-mail, the Times newspaper said Wednesday.

Angry at the response, Nock replied by suggesting that Forrest was bigoted.

"Bigot? No. Respect for other guests," came the reply. "Homophobic? No, I have no hatred or fear of poofs, etc – I just do not approve of unnatural acts being performed in my home."

Nock in return asked the Scottish tourism board to remove the guesthouse from a list of recommended accommodation on its website, saying that the prejudice had "depressed" him, the report said.

The tourism board asked the guest house owner to act differently, but he has refused to back down, saying he ran a "respectable" establishment.

"I have had bent people coming to stay, but they have had a twin room and respect our wishes," Forrest was quoted as saying. – Sapa-AFP


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