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kadensa

Boatyards and Discrimination legislation

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I have been looking at various hireyard websites and notice that many of them do not accommodate all male/all female parties. In the light of recent legal cases which have upheld the rights of gay couples are not these restrictions illegal? I expect the boatyards will argue that it has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of their customers, but is, in fact, owing to the increased risk of damage from such parties. However, the recent European court decision on car insurance premiums would appear to suggest that a basic right to equality cannot be qualified by any commercial considerations.

I wonder if any of the boatyards have taken legal advice on this, as it would appear to me that they are breaking the law in this regard.

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I'm sure they fall back on the 'we reserve the right' line, however, there are a string of cases that have shown that is no defence and that if they can be shown to have offered a similar product to others will certainly fall foul of discrimination law - However, like most things on the Broads, they seem to operate their own policy because no one ever bothers taking them to court to challenge anything!!

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Guest

I wouldn't be sure that they are breaking the law.

They're not excluding Males or Females, so that let's out sexual discrimination.

I don't see anything prohibiting Gay people either just "single sex groups", which I would presume to consist of many more than just two.

The rule itself is indiscriminate though, there have been many discussions on forums about rowdy dual sex groups, and paradoxically, well behaved single sex large groups.

Unfortunately, a Broads boating holiday is viewed by many as a good way to spend a rowdy Hen or Stag party, crashing from Pub to Pub and showing how tough they are.

Maybe even the very unfair "damage waiver" system doesn't cover their trail of damage statistically.

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I think as has been said as both all male nor all female groups are allowed I dont think it is discrimination.

It does also normally say parties or groups, and as a party or group should normally be interpreted as 3 or more I think it is clear they are not excluding banning gay/lesbian couples, although the wording has changed as the years has passed, because it has not been possible in law for a holiday company to not accept someone on the basis of their sexuality in recent years.

When I was younger there seemed lots of restrictions, with many nice boats/fleets I'd have hired from not welcoming under 25's etc etc. I rang one and explained my experience but was told (reasonably politely) it would still be a no. Fair enough I thought - I booked with who would have us, and still book with them now even though I am over those thresholds now (sadly!). It's not totally impossible those fleets might get some of my money in the future, but I'd prefer to stick with who welcomed us and treated us no differently when we were younger. Seems only fair to me.

I think the scenario that could catch someone out, that someone else raised recently would be what would happen if say three homosexual couples all decided to book a boat. They would then fall into the all male party ruling. It'd be pretty unfair that just because their partners were the same sex they were not allowed but a group of heterosexual couples were. If they turned the booking down and some persued it I cant see that decision standing up in court.

Sometimes the problem can be if operators haven't thought of every possible scenario (often difficult) and someone rings up to enquire and is given the wrong information by the person on the end of the phone, who has just interpreted the information/ruling directly or not thought they should chase the query up the chain a bit, or indeed if an operator feels that they still say no as otherwise they're discriminating against the other all male parties they say no too then all hell could break loose :lol:

Dan

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It isn't only same sex couples that can get caught in this.

What about a widowed father who wants to take his sons away for a holiday?

We all know the yards' reasoning behind these "same sex parties", it is aimed at cutting down on the problems they get from rowdy gangs of lads or girls, out for "party" trips.

Unfortunately it is down to the yard as to how they administer their rules, and whether there is any leeway in their systems.

Some will probably enforce them rigorously, other will allow a bit of common sense to be applied.

My last trip on the Broads was with an all male group, but we did have an ages of 5, 9, 10, 35, 57 & 65, so weren't the normal "stag" party group.

Anyone got a female we can borrow for a week in August?

We could do with someone to do the cooking and the washing-up! :naughty::naughty:

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It isn't only same sex couples that can get caught in this.

What about a widowed father who wants to take his sons away for a holiday?

We all know the yards' reasoning behind these "same sex parties", it is aimed at cutting down on the problems they get from rowdy gangs of lads or girls, out for "party" trips.

Unfortunately it is down to the yard as to how they administer their rules, and whether there is any leeway in their systems.

Some will probably enforce them rigorously, other will allow a bit of common sense to be applied. ...

I would imagine a Dad and his sons may not be protected as well by the law if someone turned them down for the hire of a boat as they were an all male party as a gay couple or group of gay couples, and also it is much less sensational, topical and a much less interesting story/headline!

I think discretion and common sense are the key, but these can sometimes both be ever diminishing qualities that not all companies or organisations are very good at administering.

Dan

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I think as has been said as both all male nor all female groups are allowed I dont think it is discrimination.

It's not discrimination on the grounds of gender, but that of sexual orientation, which is illegal. An example of the court's ruling on this was the case of a gay couple being refused a room in a guesthouse because the owners were devout Christians.

In the judgement in the case of car insurance premiums, it was made clear that a commercial organisation cannot breach the equality laws for any reason, and, yes, I know that particular case involved gender discrimination, but the ruling itself must surely apply to discrimination with regard to sexual orientation too.

I have Emailed a couple of the boatyards who display the 'no all male/all female groups' rule on their websites but as yet have had no reply.

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I dont think you've read the terms or the replies quite fully.

It is not exclusion on sexuality because it is not banning all male/all female bookings per se, it is banning all male/all female groups/parties

Since when did a same sex couple call themselves an all male/all female group

As I commented on, it is a bit greyer around a group of same sex couples, but the fact their statements/exclusion makes it clear that it is not homosexuality/lesbians they are excluding (as per the beginning of this reply) could well be said to make it clear that sexuality is not what they are intending to exclude here so could possibly be interpreted as something that would be viewed differently.

Whilst I dont mean to be rude, it appears to me you might be getting your knickers in a twist over something that just isn't the case to my mind as you are ignoring vital parts of the term quoted :?

Dan

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

All i`l say on this matter is that-

It is my opinion that ANYBODY should be free and have the rite to like/dislike, agree/disagree and discriminate for/against whatever/whoever they choose to. ALL of us MUST remember that we have the rite to freedom of thought and belief, even though we no longer have the rite to free speech. I will also say that whatever somebody may think, it is their rite to do so, and we MUST respect that rite whether you agree with it or not. That`s all i`m going to say on this subject.

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It is my opinion that ANYBODY should be free .... discriminate for/against whatever/whoever they choose to....

Neil

Are you saying then that you think a hirefleet should be able to say no blacks and no puffs because it is a free world and that is their right in your mind? :o

Using the example in question - If your daughter/son was gay would you be happy to hear that they couldn't have a holiday because every operator was applying your logic, they weren''t allowed in any supermarket, restaurant, bar....???!

All the best

Dan

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While a little brash I do understand what Neil is saying.

In making discrimination illegal you are empowering the person being discriminated against but also removing the right of free speech from the other party. However bigoted their view is it is still a fiercely defended right for them not only to hold it but also to air it, it is called free thought and freedom of speech.

In the same light, it is an extremest's right to air his grievances, you can hear them regularly in Hyde park. Should he choose to act on them then the full force of the law is and should be used against them.

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Every one does have the right to free speech and long may it be cherished. However we do not have the right to incite hate and for that reason discrimination and equality laws are so very important. Look at history and you will see why they came about.

Getting back to the main thread, I think the no same sex groups rule printed in the brochures can be taken with a pinch of salt. Royalls have told me they would be glad of my business and I recently was talking to an all male group on a Summercraft boat. If you speak to the boatyard describing your group I think that should solve the problem. Unless your on a stag do!

Fred

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From a boat yard perspective, this is a matter of risk.

However, for the purpose of being devil's advocate, there are many pubs that won't take stag or hen parties either. That must be just ad discriminative, surely?

Freedom allows single sex parties, stag and hen parties. However, there are additional security deposits required for certain types of party. This is mostly to cover a boat being returned in the kind of condition you would expect a student bedsit but also helps focus their minds on the fact that it's their money that will pay for damage caused by the kind of negligent behaviour that many other yards refuse to have on their boats.

Whilst we've had a number of boats returned looking like cafe kitchens, all have been cleaned by the hirer's before we've handed the deposit back to them.

Naturally, we have no control over thwir conduct whilst they're on the river, but that's what the river inspectors and Broads Beat is for. We do not ondone bad behaviour and have alerted the authorities to more idiots than I'd care to remember and I would encourage all other river users to do the same.

Back to the issue of discrimination; certainly there's a level of discrimation in restricting who can and can't hire your boat, but when you're limiting it to a group type, I would suspect it would take a very foolish person to attempt a test case.

I suspect that all yards will use a level of discretion when accepting any kind of booking.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Is`nt it amazing how the "Gaye brigade" are allowed to discriminate, as are other "minority groups", but as soon as anybody from ........... shall we say "the mainstream of life", dared to discriminate against somebody, we`d be prosecuted for daring to promote something along the lines of which is printed below. I think that puts the imorally one sided discrimination laws in to context. As i said above, if they`re allowed to blatantly discriminate against people like me, being hetrosexual, then i WILL discriminate against them. For anybodies information, this was cut out of a daily tabloid yesterday (tueday 2 aug)

post-1-136713841157_thumb.jpg

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in our day n age who cares if your gay straight bi you swing you pink yellow green ... in our day and age you would think so....

but if you have to pay extra in your damage waver ect then so be it nothing you can do about it your hiring somebody else's property & some dont see it that way hence some yards have been bitten more than once so it spoils it for the rest which is a shame really....

Jonny

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Is`nt it amazing how the "Gaye brigade" are allowed to ...

Neil, to the best of my knowledge there is no such group of people as the "gay brigade". Can you please think a little before just replying

Dan

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
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The way i see it Jonny, is that when a group of drunken men (or women) start wrecking the boats, who cares if they`ve payed extra money for a security deposit because they may ruin somebody elses holiday too. The simple fact is that when a boat gets damaged, it`s not always possible to get it repaired for the next booking. Or, when the lads do more damage than they admit to, and the yard don`t know, the next time that boat goes out, it could break down, and spoil somebody elses holiday. Or, the boat can`t be repaired on time, so the yard either, offer them another boat which they may not like, or be suitable, Or, they have to send them to another boat from another yard, agaain, not what they were expecting and have payed for, Or, in the worst case scenario, turn them away offering them another date, which they may not be able to make. This would be completely off putting to somebody who`s NEVER done a boating holiday, and due to the actions of others, may put them off hirimg again altogether. If any boatyard wants to discriminate against certain groups for the sake, and possibly SAFETY of other innocent people, then i say good for them.

One other aspect of this is that if a yard lets its boats out to large groups of drunken yobs on a regular basis as some do, and they start sustaining regular damage, the cost of repairs soars, and the hire fees go up to recoup the cost resulting in ALL of us having to pay for the mindless antics of others. Karen and i are on a tight enough budget as it is, and i would hate to have to pay vastly increasing hire fees, because we just can`t afford it.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL   
Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Neil, to the best of my knowledge there is no such group of people as the "gay brigade". Can you please think a little before just replying

Dan

Oh but i did Dan, and that WAS the polite version.

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Oh but i did Dan, and that WAS the polite version.

In that case Neil it wasn't polite enough

Dislike who you wish, but please keep such remarks off the forum

Dan

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In that case Neil it wasn't polite enough

Dislike who you wish, but please keep such remarks off the forum

Dan

Bloody right Dan, what started out as an interesting debate on the OP's header has degenerated into something that does this forum no credit and I too find remarks and phrases like that unacceptable.

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