A house-hunting gay couple in Great Britain said homophobic homeowners refused to show their listed home to them because the couple's same-sex relationship offended their religious beliefs.
Education business owner Luke Whitehouse and his partner, television producer Lachlan Mantell, told the Daily Mail they were in the process of arranging a viewing of the property when they revealed to the homeowners the pair are gay and partnered. The owners, construction worker Luke Main and his wife, Dr. Joanna Brunker, a medical physicist at Cambridge University, abruptly shut down the process, citing verses from the Bible and refusing to arrange a viewing because of their sexual identities and same-sex relationship.
"Initially, for the first 10 seconds, I laughed. I thought it was a joke," Whitehouse explained to the Daily Mail. "But then I was upset and angry and I had a cry on the phone to my mum. Homophobia still exists, it is still out there. I did not see it coming. I was blindsided by it."
Whitehouse, 34, and his partner, Mantell, 37, had been in discussions with Main and Brunker through Purple Bricks, a real estate website in the United Kingdom. Things came to a sudden and homophobic halt when the homeowners asked for "a bit about your position and circumstances" before setting a final date, and Mantell responded about the relationship.
"We're sorry if we seem intrusive, but we just want to make clear that we would be unwilling for two men in partnership to view or buy our house, as it is contrary to the gracious teaching in God's Word, the Holy Bible, e.g. Romans 1:24 and Jude 7 (King James Version)," Main and Brunker messaged the couple.
The first Bible passage Main and Brunker cited speaks of LGBTQ+ folks as having given over their souls to sexual impurity and degradation. The second references the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were described as dens of homosexual activity and depravity, and destroyed in a fire of hail and brimstone after God found the cities morally lacking.
Whitehouse and Mantell contacted Purple Bricks, whom it turned out, found that sellers Main and Brunker were the ones lacking morals.
"Thanks for sharing this message Lachlan and we're so sorry you've had this experience," a Purple Bricks spokesman told Whitehouse and Mantell. "This stance is completely opposed to our views and values. We'll refund this seller's fee as Purple Bricks no longer wish to list it."
For their part, Main and Brunker seem unconcerned about the controversy or the reception their bigoted views have received in the media. When contacted by the Daily Mail, Main said he needed to check with his wife before he could comment extensively.
"Not that we're ashamed of what we said in any way," said Main.
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