A GUEST house owner was unrepentant last night despite being dropped by VisitScotland for refusing a gay couple a room and branding them "sexual deviants".Mr Forrest has every right to decide who can stay in his property and on what terms. A privately owned tourist information service equally is perfectly free to remove Mr Forrest from its listings for whatever reason (subject to contractual arrangements). I'm not at all sure that a taxpayer-funded organisation like VisitScotland should be barring Mr Forrest in this instance. What next? Will guest house owners be removed from the public listings if they are politically incorrect in other ways? All the more reason why governments shouldn't be involved in promoting any businesses at all.
The tourism body took action against Tom Forrest, the proprietor of the Cromasaig guest house in Wester Ross, who told Stephen Nock and his partner they could not stay in a double room.
VisitScotland has withdrawn the premises from its quality assurance scheme and its website for his "appalling treatment" of the couple.
Thursday, 1 July 2004
The state's attack on property rights
This story has been attracting considerable attention over the last few days: