Let them eat cake at Ashers bakery. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

In 1997 Tasmania became the last Australia state to decriminalise homosexual activity between  consenting males.

A propos of this I can recall one of my favourite cartoons of the day. There’s a very Aussie male wearing a dinkum hat and singlet as he waits in line at the airport in Hobart.

His comment is:-

“First it was illegal, then it was tolerated and then it became legal. I’m getting out of here before it becomes compulsory.”

So why am I recalling this cartoon today?  Well, it’s got to  do with the ruling in Northern Ireland which fined a devoutly Christian bakery for refusing  to bake a cake promoting gay marriage.

This was a case of discrimination, the female judge declared.

According to the judge the bakery was conducting a business for profit.  Hmm… very unusual motive.  “They are in the business of providing services for all. The law requires them to do so,” she declared.

My question is  ” If Ashers were a halal  or kosher food store would the owners have to supply a pork hamburger to anyone who demanded it?

The reason for not doing so surely would be the same as the Ashers bakery case. It is against their religious beliefs.

As I hinted above, there will be a day when we will have to come to terms with our sexuality…heterosexuality, that is.

 

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One thought on “Let them eat cake at Ashers bakery. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

  1. You can read the decision here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/Misc/2015/NICty_2.html. The main reasoning is at [39]-[46]. Note that it is a lower court decision, and might be appealed.

    The bit about the business being for profit is because the Northern Ireland law requires those businesses not to discriminate in the services they opt to provide, regardless of the religious beliefs of the proprietors. (There are different rules for not-for-profits, and for organisations with an avowedly religious raison d’etre.)

    The idea is that businesses are free to choose which service they provide, but not to discriminate in their provision of that service. So, the bakery could have refused to provide any requested slogans on cakes, or any requested political slogans on cakes, or any requested slogans about marriage on cakes, but (the judge held) it couldn’t choose to only make cakes that support straight marriage, not gay marriage. (The judge found that the bakery would have happily provided a pro-straight marriage cake.)

    Butchers aren’t really analagous, because (as far as I know) they don’t write slogans on their meat. I don’t think that a butcher can be made to sell a particular type of meat. However, if a butcher chooses to sell pork, it can’t refuse to sell it to Jews (or gays, or women, or whatever.)

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