Hamilton Hall is a men only venue offering Dinner, B&B and offers workshops, seminars and chill out periods specializing in sexual, spiritual and self development of mind, body andsoulof gay and bisexual men.
It is a clothing optional venue . It is inappropriate to mix the sexes in a venue aimed at naked men, as this would cause embarrasment , distress and sexual confusion for many of those attending. Please read below about Discrimination and the Law.
To those few who choose to offer us homophobic abuse, please read what we have to say before you call and shout at us as believe me, your actions say more about you than you can ever realise. Read and learn, I have made it all very easy for you. If what you read here helps educate and enlighten those who live in fear of their own sexuality - and so throw abuse at anyone and everyone they see as a threat - and to those fundamentalists who use outdated Biblical rhetoric to prove their point while ignoring masses of other stipulations within the Bible and who are choosing what to - and what not to - follow ( as if the Bibe was some a la carte menu ) - I hope these pages will enable you to see that outdated views of damnation and destruction of those you fear will no longer ne tollerated as we do not live in the middle ages and views like yours have no place in the modern world, and even God is ashamed of people like you.
' LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF'
Hamilton Hall is not required under the law to state here, how and why we claim to be a men only venue . We do so as the law is very complex and confusing and we wish to offer some guidance as to how we can still remain 'men only' and stop the abusive phone calls and hate e mail we receive from homophobic and bigoted people screaming abuse at us. As the government has not offered any assistance in the matter of the law change , we have struggled to make sense of what it says, and below are some detailed sections which allow us to remain men only. This is for guidance and informnation only
We are aware that there will always be those in opposition and will attempt to cause deliberate disharmony and we request you read the detailed sections below and educate yourself - as we have done - and be accepting of others differences. There are times, within the details of the law, when it in inappropriate to mix the sexes and limiting a venue to one sex can be quite legal where one of the statutory exceptions applies. This is up to the individual business to prove is applicable, as we have done with the detailed piece below.
Hamilton Hall totally supports the law and agree that discrimination is a bad and unlawful thing.
Hamilton Hall does not want - or expect - special treatment or dispensation from the law
Common sense needs to be applied in order for the law to make any sense
There needs to be better education for everyone -
otherwise there are going to be some obvious and even odious reports leading to prosecutions
of good businesses that have been going for decades and where no prejudice is ever intended
COMMON SENSE IS NEEDED - BUT SEEMS IN SHORT SUPPLY
A MEN ONLY VENUE
Opened in March 2000 as a retreat style hotel for men
Specializing in events for the gay and bisexual community
Community living - No TV or kettles in the rooms
Everyone sits at one large table and eats together
Offering & encouraging informal, relaxed and intimate friendships
Clothing Optional throughout the venue
Non Profit Venue
Run by volunteers and just one paid cleaner
Giving free vacations for men with HIV or elderly men in need of a week (end) away
Offering guidance and support against homophobia, abuse, intollerance,
and emotional / physical violence
Workshops, Seminars etc. for sexual, self and spiritual development
of the mind, body and soul of men
With a few exceptions, it is unlawful to discriminate directly
or indirectly on the grounds of sex in the provision of goods,
facilities or services to the public, or a section of the community
on the grounds of discrimination.
Exceptions to the law
Different skills – s. 29(3)
Services which are designed for one sex only because different skills are required in order to provide the services to the opposite sex may be restricted to one sex only e.g. hairdressing and tailoring.
All of our workshops are designed for the male soul - for the energies at work differ to those of women, and as a gay man and facilitator of almost every workshop facilitated at Hamilton Hall, I confess I know absolutely nothing about the female body and cannot teach what I do not know. Whether it be Tantric Sexuality, BreathWork, Meditation or Massage, I work with the masculine energies in balance with the feminine WITHIN the male physical form, and simpy feel un-at-easy and nervous touching or being naked around women. Love them to bits, but I do not understand their spiritual energies like I do mens.
There are also scores of retreats teaching spiritual enlightenment to couples, and a lot of workshops aimed at just women, and women tend to get a great deal more workshops and retreats catering to feminine issues and very few, if any - cater for the male energy and even then, are usually taught by a women who - actually - knows nothing about what it is to be a man.
Special care, supervision or attention – s. 35(1)(a)
Services may be restricted to one sex where they are provided at an establishment for persons requiring special care, supervision or attention, for example, a hospital or resettlement unit.
A Woman's Rescue Centre for physically abused women has a duty of care to the women who use its facilities, to protect from harm - physically, emotionally and sexually. Hamilton Hall has a duty of care to the men who use our venue - as anenormous amount of our visitors are newly 'coming out' married men who are searching for some answers and cannot get these anywhere else.
There are London based 'drop in' charities and groups but most of the men we have visit, enjoy the relaxed residential atmosphere and the safe environment - where they feel they can open up and 'bare their soul' and through lengthy periods spent in 'casual counselling' - we can help these men find some answers in order to make a new life for themselves.
The average age is mid 40's to mid 50's and even the gay scene can be a in-hospitable place for a new-commer of this age and the thought of it frightens many. Hamilton Hall not only answers their questions, we also take them to the local bars and clubs and through an introduction of how things are done - which differ enormously to the 'straight' world, this alleviates a lot of their fear and apprehension.
Mental Health is a big issue for many with HIV and the struggle with acceptance, the fear of people finding out and the harrasment many fear if people do find out. Hamilton Hall offers respite care periods for those with HIV and their carers / partners, where they know they are free from those who stare and act in fear. Free from ignorant people who should know better.
Religious exception- s. 35(1)(b)
Services may be restricted to one sex where they take place somewhere that is (permanently or for the time being) occupied or used for the purposes of an organised religion and the facilities or services are restricted to one sex so as to comply with the doctrines of that religion or so as to avoid offending the religious susceptibilities of a significant number of its followers.
This does not really affect us as we are not part of an 'organised religion' - but The Pope's intervention over the Government's Equality Bill is unhelpful. Moreover, His suggestions to visiting English and Welsh Catholic bishops that the Bill “violates the natural law”, and that they resist it with “missionary zeal”, will do little to win over public opinion and little to forward education about the LGBT community to the ignorant masses who throw abuse at us. It's almost giving consent for homophobia and abuse.
Hamilton Hall shares a mixture of spiritual beliefs - not religious doctrines or dogmas - and all are geared around the male - the masculine - in connection and in balance with the masculine and the feminine within the individual man - and not that of a women. Women share a very different energy vibration to men; - sexually, emotionally and physically. We simply are not the same.
Serious embarrassment and state of undress - s.35 (1)(c)
Services may be restricted to one sex if the users are likely to suffer 'serious embarrassment' at the presence of a member of the opposite sex or the users are likely to be in a state of undress and the users may reasonably object to the presence of the opposite sex. This exception may for example apply to sauna facilities. Some service providers have identified a need to provide women-only sport sessions such as swimming or badminton. This would be unlawful unless the provider could prove that mixed groups would cause serious embarrassment to the user(s).
Hamilton Hall is a CLOTHING OPTIONAL venue where naked men walk around freely. Hamilton Hall has some shared accommodation - 2 twin rooms and a dorm for 4 - where various amenities and bathroom facilities are shared. The other 2 Double Rooms do not have toilet facilities and must share these with the other guests on the landings.
Naked men who are gay and /or bisexual do find it seriously embarrasing being naked in front of women and many would feel very uncomfortable.
Women would feel embarrased in a room full of naked men where they were the 'odd one out' and where open, honest and in depth discussions from a masculine point of view is not acceptable if there is a women present... just see how men act differently in a bar if with their mates - or if one of their girlfriends is present. The language is different, the topic cleaner, the whole demeaner will be changed. Mixing men and women together in this manner would cause severe embarrasment for both parties.
Guests are not restricted to their bedrooms and are expected and encouraged to intermix with each other and make friends. We share one table at all meals, watch TV together, enjoy in depth discussions on life, death and universal matters that affect men - and many other aspects of male life are covered in this informal and relaxed retreat. A women present would cause more than embarrasment, it would change the whole dynamic and this would be unhelpful and detrimental to what we offer.
We do offer Women Only events and special weekends for gay men and their girlfriends, and for straight couples to experience some of our spirituality, but these weekends are 'clothing on' to save any embarasment or unwelcome advances from anyone towards another. These are limited to a couple of times a year and every time we have advertised and tried these events over the years, they end up cancelled -every single time - because of a lack of interest.We do not have enough funds to keep throwing money away on events that do not work.
Physical contact - s.35 (2)
It is permissible to restrict facilities to one sex if physical contact between the user and another person is likely and the other person might reasonably object if the user were of the opposite sex. For example, this exception may apply to self -defence classes.
This certainly applies to many of our workshops which are very 'hands on - touchy feeley.' Plus we encourage friendship through touch, as too many people are 'up tight' and a hug - a simple hug - works wonders at releasing pent up frustrations, anger, sadness, isolation and so much more.
Single Sex Voluntary Organisations - s.34
It is not unlawful for a voluntary organisation to restrict its membership to one sex. It is also not unlawful for a voluntary body to provide services and benefits to one sex only if this is the main object of the body i.e. the main reason why it was set up. This exception only applies if the organisation was not set up under an Act of Parliament, and does not operate for a profit. For example, section 34 could apply to a voluntary group which is set up to provide a free taxi service for women only or a voluntary boy's group which refuses to admit girl members. Once a body has decided to either admit both sexes or to provide services to both sexes, it is no longer allowed to discriminate between the sexes (disregarding any minor exceptions to membership rules or any provision of services to the other sex which is exceptional or relatively insignificant).
Hamilton Hall is a NOT FOR PROFIT VENUE and is run by volunteers. John Bellamy owns the building and work 15 / 7 / 52 for no wages. He works full time as a volunteer and only occasionally claim expenses to cover his clothing,and personal needs. ( max £1,000 a year ) He has his board and lodgings and receives no regular remunerations at all. He facilitates all workshop periods as a volunteer and other than one paid member of staff, and a paid IT specialist who hosts the web site, all the extra work is done by volunteers, who have been guests here and love what Hmilton Hall offers and donate their time and skills to assist further.
PEOPLE MOTIVATED - NOT PROFIT DRIVEN.
Any profit made is used in maintenance of the building and / or is donated to offering free workshops and free week(ends) for men on benefits with HIV / AIDS and / or elderly gay / bi men in need of a vacation. We currently offer around 25 periods free of charge a year. No other venue offers this.
( Any monies invested in the building is only benefited by Hamilton Hall as it is currently run. If and when I retire and sell up, this venue will be knocked down and re built as flats, as all these small venues are uneconomical and need aditional income to keep afloat, and new double glazing - new plumbing etc. is only for my / our own usage and when we leave here, it will be no more.So all monies spent on this venue is only for our usage and is NOT a good investment for the building as a whole. )
Hamilton Hall still requires John Bellamy - every year - to continue in his old profession as an escort, to financially 'prop the business up' as it relies on overdraft 95% of the time and rely on John's private work outside of Hamilton Hall in order to survive. Hamilton Hall also have a gay benefactors who loves to help support the work as he admires what is offered here and values its impact on men, and he helps out financially . He was originally one of John's escort clients. Without these extra monies, Hamilton Hall would not have survived and would have closed a long time ago.
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) came into force on 2 October 2000. The aim of the HRA is to ensure that a set of basic human rights, which are laid down in the European Convention on human rights, are fully respected and can be enforced in the UK. Under the Human Rights Act you have the right to freedom from discrimination.
We also have the right to Freedom of Speech / Movement & Beliefs.
I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant. ~Paul Newman
The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. ~Lynn Lavner