(by Ray Dixon – an equal opprortunity holiday accommodation provider)
“We don’t want sodomy in our home. That’s not the same thing as saying we are anti-gay,”
On the surface this sounds like straight-out discrimination against same-sex couples (being lesbians, in this case).
But I smell a bit of a set-up:
Karen and Michael Ruskin, of Pilgrim Planet Lodge, in central Whangarei, say they have received death threats and verbal abuse over their stance on homosexuality.
… Lesbian couple Jane Collison, 30, and Paula Knight, 45, decided not to stay at the lodge on May 7 after being told they could only have a room with single beds.
They had booked online a room with a king-sized bed but Mrs Ruskin said that when the couple arrived they were told the lodge’s policy was for same-sex couples to be put into a room with two king-single beds.
The engaged couple decided not to stay but could not find other accommodation until they got to Waipu.
Mrs Ruskin said she was sorry for the couple’s inconvenience but was standing firm on her morals and the sanctity of her home.
The Ruskins live in the bed and breakfast-style lodge, where guests share lounge, kitchen and living areas.
“It’s our home – it’s not a motel.”
The lesbians have since filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission claiming discrimination due to their sexual orientation but the owners claim they have a legal right (and indeed a precedent) to say who will share their residential accommodation:
She said that in 2010 a gay couple also complained to the commission after being asked to sleep apart, but that complaint was withdrawn when the exception for shared accommodation came to light.
Hmm, I’m starting to wonder if this incident was a case of gay activists deliberately targeting the Pilgrim Planet in a sort-of payback or even a re-test of the exemption, now that gay marriage has been legalised in New Zealand.
I wonder why they chose this place, which already has ‘form’ for rejecting gay couples, and which also states right upfront on its website’s home page that they, err, cater to only certain people:
Pilgrim Planet: B&B guesthouse in central Whangarei, modern accommodation with old fashioned values*
*Our nation’s moral code has been based on generally accepted values which have guided legislation. Essentially parliament’s concern is matters legal and the peoples’ concern is matters moral. When these line up we have peace and harmony but when politicians legislate against morality, a disconnect occurs. Unjust laws need to be questioned for if we fail to do this we will become corrupted by the law instead of edified and protected by it. You are welcome to stay in our home, whatever your beliefs, so long as you respect and understand ours.
And just in case the lesbian couple missed that bit when they booked online, they surely must have seen this on the bookings page:
Pilgrim Planet – modern accommodation with old fashioned values! …….. We reserve the right to change any rooms that have been booked on-line at our discretion.
I’m in the accommodation business too, but I wouldn’t go imposing any ‘moral values’ on our guests. We’ve had gays & lesbians stay here at GG and it doesn’t bother us in the slightest. All we ask is that guests don’t disturb others and don’t leave the place in a mess. Quite frankly (and I don’t mean to stereotype here), our homosexual guests are generally much tidier than most others, especially those guests with little kids. As for what they do in the beds, well our linen is hired in for each stay so we don’t have to wash it anyway!
Then again, our units are completely separate and fully self-contained, whereas the Pilgrim Planet is actually an oversized house that merely lets out bedrooms and allows its guests to share most of the house, it seems. It’s not the sort of accommodation I’d choose to supply – to anyone – because the only people I like sleeping in my house are my own direct family. Yeah, we even put our relatives in the units when they visit (at no charge of course!)
I sort of think the Ruskins, if homosexuality offends them so much, are simply in the wrong business. But I also think the lesbian couple would (or should) have known in advance that they would be discriminated against – I mean, just the name Pilgrim Planet should have been a dead giveaway that mein host was a little bit on the churchie side, don’t you think?
Anyway … they’re just bloody Kiwis, who cares?
I think I might ban all New Zealanders from GG full stop – I wonder if that’s discrimination?