A gay couple in the UK has been banned from buying their £650,000 dream house by Christian sellers. Luke Whitehouse and his partner, Lachlan Mantell, who works as an ITV producer, received messages referencing Bible passages from the vendors and were told that the house would not be sold to “two men in partnership” after revealing that they were romantically involved.
The couple originally spotted the three-bed, semi-detached cottage in Surrey as they looked to get on the property ladder having spent eight years in a relationship. They attempted to organise a viewing through internet estate agents, Purplebricks, and were put into contact with the owners – builder Luke Main and Cambridge University medical physicist Dr Joanna Brunker.
Before agreeing to the house viewing, the devout Christian sellers asked Luke and Lachlan about their situation, and it was then revealed that they were a gay couple. Upon receiving this information, the vendors refused the viewing, citing Bible passages and saying the house was not for sale to same-sex pairings.
The message from Main and Brunker read: “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). With regards.”
Speaking to MailOnline, 34 year-old Luke Whitehouse recalled: “Initially for the first 10 seconds I laughed. I thought it was a joke. But then I was upset and angry and 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.”
Upset by the message he and his partner received, Luke reported it to Purplebricks, who decided to stop selling the property as the owners’ comments are against the company’s “views and values”.
A spokesperson for Purplebricks apologised to the couple, adding that they will “refund this seller’s fee as Purplebricks no longer wish to list it.”
Thanks for sharing this message Lachlan – and we’re so sorry you’ve had this experience. This stance is completely opposed to our views and values. If you can DM us to let us know the property in question, we’ll refund this seller’s fee as Purplebricks no longer wish to list it.
— Purplebricks UK (@PurplebricksUK) January 12, 2022
Reflecting on the discrimination he faced when trying to get on the property ladder, Whitehouse said, “We will look for something else now. We are not going to let it affect us trying to buy a house.”
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