07 November 2014
Ashers Rise to the Equality Commission Challenge
Ashers Baking Company have been all over the news this week .They have indicated that they won’t bow to renewed pressure from the Equality Commission who have decided to take them to court for declining to make what has become known as 'the gay cake'. The Christian run bakery declined to make a cake supporting gay marriage because it was against the directors' religious beliefs. Listen to a discussion of the case on BBC Talkback here.
I believe the Ashers case could have serious ramifications that many in the media and elsewhere don’t seem to have grasped. It isn’t about a ‘gay cake’, in fact it has very little to do with sexuality or gay rights – the McArthurs who own Ashers did not know the sexual orientation of the customer. The Equality Commission have now written to Ashers saying they are not only guilty of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation but also religious and political opinion. The issue is that if this case is lost, religion will have been effectively banished from the public square. Significant political freedoms will also be lost as the Equality Commission decides which political and religious views are acceptable and which are not.
So please check out the video for a brief synopsis and feel free to download it and use it elsewhere. Our press release is available here and I have also blogged more about some of the legal implications here.