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Hotels say they welcome gay marriages

25 July 2005
Hotels say they welcome gay marriages

Hoteliers have hit back at allegations that they are homophobic after newspaper claims that hotels were planning to refuse gay weddings.

Same-sex marriages become legal from December this year. But a report in the Independent on Sunday last weekend (17 July) suggested that more than a third of venues - including hotels - will not hold gay weddings.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights campaign group Stonewall, said he was worries that the decision of some local councils not to hold civil partnership ceremonies might encourage other venues to do so.

"While we would have no qualms naming and shaming properties, we have not heard of anyone who has experienced problems with hotels," he said.

"In today's environment it's a bit like saying ‘no black people allowed on the premises' - such attitudes would probably put off straight people as well as gay from going to discriminating venues."

Hoteliers rejected any suggestion that they were homophobic or reticent about holding same-sex weddings.

Bev King, head of Thistle, said: "I object to being associated with attitudes like this. Thistle is not homophobic at all and I genuinely don't feel the industry is either and it's ridiculous to suggest it is."

A spokeswoman for Starwood hotels and resorts said: "I would be surprised if anyone was to discriminate against this group. We would certainly not discriminate against same-sex weddings and take every request based on availability and whether we can meet customer expectations."

The gay wedding market could be worth up to £7b over the next five years.

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