No Freedom of Conscience for Ashers Bakers as Court Rules They Cannot Refuse to make Gay-Cake

Ashers Bakers Cannot Refuse to Make “Gay-Cake” – This Represents a Serious Threat to Freedom of Conscience for All

 

No Freedom of Conscience for Ashers Bakers as Court Rules They Cannot Refuse to make Gay-Cake

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20,277 people have signed. Help us reach 50,000 signatures.

No Freedom of Conscience for Ashers Bakers as Court Rules They Cannot Refuse to make Gay-Cake

No Freedom of Conscience for Ashers Bakers as Court Rules They Cannot Refuse to make Gay-Cake

Northern Ireland baker Ashers Baking Company, have been fighting a legal battle against the Equality Commission in N. Ireland who argued that Ashers were guilty of discrimination when they refused to bake a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage” on it. Sadly, Ashers lost their most recent appeal when the Court of Appeal in Belfast ruled against them.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan and two other senior judges upheld County Court Judge Isobel Brownlie’s previous ruling that the McArthur family (the owners of Ashers Baking Company) discriminated against Gareth Lee.

The judges recognised that the family did not refuse the service because Mr Lee was gay, but nonetheless ruled that refusing the order because of its slogan “was direct discrimination”.

The judgment states that Ashers can provide a “service to all or none but not to a selection of customers”, adding: “What they may not do is provide a service that only reflects their own political or religious message in relation to sexual orientation”.

All sides in the legal debate recognised that Mr Lee was not refused a cake because he was gay (a fact that Ashers didn’t even know at the time). This certainly would have been illegal and rightly so. There is no evidence that Mr Lee was discriminated against because he is gay. Rather, Ashers refused to make a cake with the message that Mr Lee wanted i.e. “Support Gay Marriage” because they did not want to involve themselves in a particular political campaign to redefine marriage. In other words, Ashers were not willing to make a cake saying “Support Gay Marriage” regardless of the sexual orientation of the person who requested it.

This is obviously quite an incredible judgement and apparently has serious implications of freedom of conscience. Indeed, a number of gay-rights activists, including Peter Tatchell, have come out in defence of Ashers, at least in part because they recognise how this decision could limit their own freedom.

As many have pointed out before, should a Muslim baker be required to depict their prophet Mohammed on a cake? Should a Jewish baker be required to express support of Palestine on a cake?

Should the state be able to compel the owners of a private business to violate their conscience by promoting an ideology to which they are opposed? Of course not. Such compulsion represents a grave threat to the freedom of conscience of people throughout N. Ireland and perhaps the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK as well.

Ashers are now considering their legal options and we should show our support for them.

Please sign this petition in solidarity with Ashers Baking company, recognising their right to freedom of conscience and opposing the state’s compelling others to promote political cause with which they are not in agreement.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-37748681

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/breaking-calls-change-oppressive-equali...

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/ashers-bakery-cakes-gay-marriage-dis...

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-gay-cake-case-why-we-mu...

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Stand With Ashers

Dear Daniel McArthur and family,

I share your disappointment with the decision of the Court in regard to your refusal to decorate a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”. The Court’s decision in this regard was a grave error and represents a serious threat to freedom of conscience for all of us.

I applaud your courage and continued defiance against unjust judicial aggression.

Thank you for all that you have done and I hope that this case will receive a just outcome.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

No Freedom of Conscience for Ashers Bakers as Court Rules They Cannot Refuse to make Gay-Cake

Sign this petition now!

050,000
  20,277
 
20,277 people have signed. Help us reach 50,000 signatures.