Bullied Lesbian Couple Can't Work, Take Thousands In Welfare, Ask For Big New House

Dusten Carlson

Lisa and Carrie-Ann Beaney are civil partners raising four children together in a single B&B room. They've asked the government for a bigger house for their family, but are currently stuck due to a welfare cap and an inability (or unwillingness) to work.

Lisa, 30, quit her most recent job at McDonald's after three months because being there made her too nervous. Carrie-Ann, meanwhile, has never worked. The two say that everywhere they go, they face bullying and harassment for their sexuality, and that makes it difficult to maintain employment or any semblance of peace in the home.

Compounding the issue, they were recently evicted from their £850-a-month rented home due to strict new benefit cap rules.

The problem is, the couple are already getting about as much benefit from the system as they possibly can. Their £608-a-week B&B room might not be cozy for a family of six, but it's paid for completely by the taxpayer. Combined, the two rake in somewhere between £22,000 and £53,000-a-year in benefits on top of income support and child benefit.

And now they're asking for a bigger house. They said that they'd buy it themselves if they could maintain a job, but again, they can't due to harassment.

"It does feel like we were persecuted against because of our sexuality and I think the council needs to show us some sympathy," Lisa said. She continued:

"They guaranteed us that they would be able to find us a house as soon as we were out of the private house, but we are still here. The best they've come up with is privately rented property but we wouldn't be able to afford it and the same thing would happen again. We got loads of abuse in the streets and one time we got a letter through the door saying we were disgusting and didn't deserve to have children.

"It just means the only time we are ever close is at home. We don't hold hands when we are out together or anything. We did have the police around a few times because our car was damaged and our fence was damaged and then one day I was assaulted. When Dillon went to school he would have kids throw abuse at him and punch him because we were lesbians.

"It's disgusting that grown adults can behave like that."

"It just means the only time we are ever close is at home. We don't hold hands when we are out together or anything. We did have the police around a few times because our car was damaged and our fence was damaged and then one day I was assaulted. When Dillon went to school he would have kids throw abuse at him and punch him because we were lesbians.

"It's disgusting that grown adults can behave like that."

"We didn't even know they were lesbians for a long time," said neighbor Sheila Eagle, 69. "I don't even think any of the neighbours knew them. I do not believe for a single second they received homophobic abuse."

She continued: "The landlords came round here asking about the family because they hadn't been paying rent or bills. But we saw them with cars full of stuff from Argos where they had been buying new things though. They wanted to be given a council house and this was a way of getting it, if you ask me."

Regardless, the Ashford Borough Council said that the Beaney family have been offered a three-bedroom home, and said that they had been treated "the same" as any other family.

"We did offer the family a property through our social lettings agency but they declined the offer, again on affordability," a spokesman said. "Throughout the process Miss Beaney and her family have been treated as would any other family. Following an initial assessment the council accepted a homeless duty to the family."

Lisa and Carrie-Ann each had a child from a former heterosexual relationship, and had two more as a couple via artificial insemination.

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