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Christian couple selling Surrey home refuse to let gay couple view or buy it

House owners Luke Main and Dr Joanna Brunker say they're not ashamed of what they said "in any way".

2022-01-20

Words: Alastair James; Image: Pexels (posed by model)

A gay couple has spoken of their shock and anger after they were denied their £650,000 dream house in Surrey by the Christian owners, who said they wouldn't even offer a viewing to "two men in a partnership."

Luke Whitehouse, 34, and Lachlan Mantell, 37, thought the three-bed, semi-detached cottage was perfect for them. But sadly, the owners rejected their interest and quoted Bible verses at the two (via text) instead.

After initially thinking it was a joke Luke says he was "upset and angry" at the blatant homophobia. 

"Blindsided"

Speaking to the Mail Online, Luke says he was "blindsided" and "did not see it coming." The Mail reports that Luke and Lachlan, who have been together for eight years, were hoping to view the property last week.

Screenshots of text message between the couple and the sellers - identified as 33-year-old builder Luke Main and his wife, Dr Joanna Brunker, 34, a medical physicist at Cambridge University - show Main and his wife asking, "Would you mind telling us a bit about your position and circumstances when you have a moment please?'

Lachlan explains that he works as a TV producer for ITV and that Luke runs his own business in education. He also explains that they have family near the cottage and that they've spent time in the area.

However, Luke and Jo respond with: "Dear Lachlan and Luke, thank you for sharing your circumstances with us. We're sorry if we seem intrusive, but we just want to make clear that we would be unwilling for two men in a 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 1:24-28 and Jude 7 (King James Version)"

The passages referred to mention men becoming "inflamed with lust for one another" and tales of Sodom and Gomorrha and fornication.

Following the exchange, Luke reported it to the estate website Purple Bricks, who thanked the gay couple for sharing it with them adding, "This stance is completely opposed to our views and values. We'll refund this seller's fee as Purplebricks no longer wish to list it."

When they were contacted by MailOnline, Mr. Main said they were "Not that we're ashamed of what we said in any way"

The Mail's report includes a submission from the religious couple to a House of Lords Committee in 2019 where they outlined their views on how gay relationships should be taught in schools.

The couple say they are "very concerned" about pupils being "taught things which will be harmful to them, and society at large," and call "Secular, liberal views which seem to dominate society today [...] damaging to us and our posterity."

They reckon that the government is trying to "indoctrinate children with ideas of relationships which should never be mentioned or countenanced, let alone taught and encouraged." They also argue that "at least parents should have the right to exclude their children from this Relationships Education.