A guest at a Philippines hotel has called out its controversial policy banning unmarried couples from sharing bedrooms, as part of its advocacy against sex outside of marriage.
“Only married couples are allowed to share a hotel room,” reads the first of three guidelines for couple’s booking a room at Ephrathah Farms, found in Iloilo City in the Philippines.
“Front desk may require proof of marriage like IDs [sic], wedding rings, etc. [sic] before being allowed to book a room.”
Ephrathah Farms (‘Ephrathah’ being derived from the Old Testament) claims the measures, shared on social media, are rules that the hotel says it is compelled to abide by, in adherence with its “Christian belief”.
The hotel says that its guidelines are in place to protect “God’s property” – Ephrathah Farms – and that it would not “be used for evil works”.
“In as much as we would like to maximise business gains, we are compelled by our Christian belief to adhere to this rule,” the guideline reads.
After a guest allegedly posted an image of the controversial policy, it has since gone viral after being shared on social media, prompting a response by Ephrathah Farms.
“It was not the intention of Ephrathah Farms for the post regarding our ‘Guidelines for Couple booking a hotel room’ to go viral,” the post begins. “The photos … were taken from the internet with the intention of internal use only.”
“We have no control on how this went viral. Perhaps, our controversial rules are not acceptable to everyone thus having multiple shares and comments.”
“We believe in the the sanctity of Marriage. We further believe that ‘SEX’ should be done in the confines of married people only.
“This is the reason we screen guests of opposite sex wanting to check-in our rooms, so that we can deny entry to couples whose intentions are for short-time stay only or to do extra-marital affairs. We do not force guests to check-in our hotel – there are other business that can serve guests that can’t comply with our rules.”
The post concluded by reminding customers that the rule has been in place for more than six years.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Roman Catholicism is the major religion throughout the Philippines. More than 74 million Filipinos identified as Roman Catholic in 2013.
Facebook user Fate Mynl responded to the post by asking, “And what about married same sex couples? I guess you would be okay with their use of your facilities too?”
While the Constitution of the Philippines does not prohibit same-sex marriage, same-sex marriage is not recognised by the country’s Family Code.