Christian Couple to Gay Couple: No House for You!

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday January 21, 2022

A gay couple in the UK were stunned when a Christian couple rebuffed their interest in a house for sale because of the men's sexuality, UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported.

The Mail detailed that Luke Whitehouse and his partner, Lachlan Mantell, a producer for UK television channel ITV, were interested in purchasing "a £650,000, three-bed, semi-detached cottage," but the couple — Luke Main and Joanna Brunker — selling the property, upon learning that the men were a same-sex couple, refused, citing the Bible and telling Whitehouse and Mantell that they would "be unwilling for two men in partnership to view or buy our house."

The reason?

It would be "contrary to the gracious teaching in God's Word, the Holy Bible," the sellers asserted. The message they sent included a reference to Bible passages replete with references to "sinful desires," "sexual impurity," the "degrading" of "bodies," "shameful lusts," and "unnatural" sexual relations.

Whitehouse took to Facebook to share what happened.

"We were so excited to start house hunting. This was the first we had approached to arrange a viewing," Whitehouse posted, sharing a photo with text of the sellers' reply.

"The response we got is shocking and disgusting," Whitehouse added. "Maybe I've been naive in thinking homophobia isn't as common in 2022...This is why LGBTQ Pride, equality and legal protections matter."

Speaking to MailOnline, Whitehouse related how he thought at first that the response was a joke.

"Initially for the first 10 seconds I laughed," he said. "But then I was upset and angry and I had a cry on the phone to my mum," Whitehouse went on to say. "Homophobia still exists, it is still out there. I did not see it coming. I was blindsided by it."

Contacted by the Daily Mail for a followup article, the sellers doubled down, insisting they "haven't done anything wrote" and are "sticking to their beliefs".

"'We would not sell our home to two men in a partnership," reiterated Brunker.

"We're not ashamed of what we said in any way," Main put in.

The company that had listed the house, Purplebricks, has now taken the listing down, the Mail noted, and extended its apologies to Whitehouse and Mantell, saying that the response from Brunker and Main "is completely opposed to our views and values."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.