A Christian physicist and her husband refused to sell their house to a gay couple, instead messaging them with Bible verses.

Lachlan Mantell, a producer for ITV originally from Australia, and his partner Luke Whitehouse told the Daily Mail they had been wanting to buy a house together for a “long time”.

Earlier this month they found a house they loved in Surrey, via estate agent Purplebricks, and messaged the sellers to arrange a viewing.

Luke Main, 33, and his wife, University of Cambridge medical physicist Dr Joanna Brunker, 34, were happy to arrange a viewing, but asked the couple: “Would you mind telling us a bit about your position and circumstances?”

Mantell described their jobs and why they were attracted to the area, but were shocked when Main and Brunker responded: “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, eg Romans 1:24-28 and Jude 7 (King James Version).”

The first Bible passage cited discusses “unnatural lust”, and the second references “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “the vengeance of eternal fire”.

Whitehouse said: “Initially for the first 10 seconds I laughed. I thought it was a joke.

“But then I was upset and angry and I 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.”

The gay couple reported the comments to Purplebricks, which has removed the house listing and said in a statement: “The sentiments expressed in this message are completely opposed to Purplebricks’ views and values.

“We have contacted the seller to return their fee and request that they sell their property with a different agent.”

Stonewall’s Sasha Misra told the Daily Mail in a statement: “It is shocking to hear that a gay couple were turned away from buying a property because of their sexuality.

“Gay people should be able to rent or buy property wherever they choose and should not expect to be treated differently because of who they love. Instances like this hark back to an era when it was commonplace to treat lesbian, gay, bi or trans people unfairly, refuse their custom or turn them away from accommodation – and it simply has no place in Britain today.”

When Christian couple Brunker and Main were contacted for comment on refusing to let a gay couple even view their property, Main said he would need to speak to his wife.

He added: “Not that we’re ashamed of what we said in any way.” 

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