Can a cake be gay ? Northern Ireland Equalities Act ruling

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  • Can a cake be gay ? Northern Ireland Equalities Act ruling
  • ransos
    Member

    Correct but getting married in church is a religious ceremony.

    There is no religious aspect to the marriage contract, regardless of where the ceremony is performed.

    I don’t have any belief any religion but nor do I get people to act against their faith.

    I own a B&B: the flying spaghetti monster tells me that Christians aren’t allowed to stay.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    craigxxl – Member

    Correct but getting married in church is a religious ceremony.

    Yup, but the act of becoming legally married is a matter for the state. It’s pretty reasonable to say “If you want the right to marry people, then you get the duty to marry people”- and if they’re not happy with marrying people on those terms then they just don’t get to marry people at all. Hold a service, get an official in to do the actual marriage, same as happens in hotels and registry offices.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    They’re using the excuse that a vegetarian café could refuse to serve meat, the fundamental difference is the vegetarian café would be opened and advertised as vegetarian.

    … which is an obvious straw man to anyone with a shred of critical thinking. A vegetarian cafe will sell to anyone, they just don’t sell meat. They don’t sell a lot of other things too, Nissan exhaust parts for example. The only way that analogy would hold water would be if a vegetarian cafe refused to serve meat-eaters, rather than just not sell meat.

    Has this not been decided (in the courts) already, it’s quite an old case?

    That’s what I thought. It’s definitely a story that’s a year or two old, but I thought from memory that was a couple of women requesting the cake rather than a couple of guys? Is this the same tale resurfacing?

    callmetc
    Member

    was the slogan push the poo back in?

    Nico
    Member

    Fairy cakes are gay. And cream puffs, as already mentioned. In fact they are proof that gayism is natural and god-created.

    Aren’t pubs allowed to choose who they serve? I think cake shops should be allowed to choose what they won’t put on a cake, but not who they will sell it to. So if it is two figurines of men and they don’t want to do it then that’s their choice. But if the gays are happy to have a different cake then they shouldn’t be able to refuse to sell it to gays. Personally I’d take my business elsewhere, but they may have wanted to take a stand (a cake stand, if you will).

    Premier Icon jonm81
    Subscriber

    They don’t advertise themselves as a Christian Bakery.

    No, they don’t advertise it but it is well known in the area that they are.

    The counter argument is always this, but you are equating LGBT equality with something offensive.

    I am equating printing things that individuals find offensive. They didn’t refuse to make the guy a cake but they did refuse to print the slogan he wanted on the cake as they found it offensive (even if that offense is due to their belief on a made up deity).

    people used iron age superstition to determine your freedom to live your life as an equal member of society.

    They have not tried to determine how he lives his life. They have not tried to ban him from being gay. As far as I know they have not even refused to make him a cake. They have just refused to print a slogan on a cake they disagree with.

    I would imagine most shops would have also refused to print “I’m marrying my cousin” as it is against most peoples beliefs but would that be considered “determine your freedom to live your life as an equal member of society” and discrimination or would it be considered OK to refuse that?

    If I knew something was against someones beliefs I would not consciously ask them to do it especially if there were other options available.

    jimjam
    Member

    No, they don’t advertise it but it is well known in the area that they are.

    It is now. But prior to the court case, whilst it was known that the owners were Christians I don’t think anyone would have guessed that a large commercial bakery chain would operate along fundamentalist religious guidelines.

    I am equating printing things that individuals find offensive.

    So if a Muslim baker feels it’s offensive to print a cake for a British Soldier coming home from Afghanistan that’s okay because it offends his wahhabist sympathies?

    They have not tried to determine how he lives his life. They have not tried to ban him from being gay. As far as I know they have not even refused to make him a cake. They have just refused to print a slogan on a cake they disagree with.

    As per my earlier post, this church and political party have indeed consistently and decisively moved to restrict freedom and equality for gay people in Northern Ireland.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
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    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r694HuOKH4[/video]

    Premier Icon jonm81
    Subscriber

    So if a Muslim baker feels it’s offensive to print a cake for a British Soldier coming home from Afghanistan that’s okay because he finds it offensive?

    No that would not be ok. however if the soldiers family asked for “Back from Afghan, glad you got them before they got you!” (something someone I used to know had put on a card for a returning soldier and pretty damn distasteful in my opinion) to be printed on the cake I would have no issues with that being refused by a Muslim baker.

    konabunny
    Member

    Aren’t pubs allowed to choose who they serve?

    They’re a business so they’re allowed to discriminate on some things (footwear for example) but not others (race for example).

    If the pub was a religious establishment, it would be allowed to discriminate on religion. But it’s not, and neither is a bakery.

    gobuchul
    Member

    “Back from Afghan, glad you got them before they got you!”

    I’m not sure why you think that’s offensive?

    If I had friends and family fighting in a frontline unit that’s exactly what I would be thinking when they came home safe.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    Really this whole thing just comes down to getting a bit creative when declining business. Simply “not being able to take your order at this time” ought to suffice. There is no obligation as far as I’m aware of a business to deal with any particular person or body if they don’t feel like it.

    jimjam
    Member

    jonm81

    No that would not be ok. however if the soldiers family asked for “Back from Afghan, glad you got them before they got you!” (something someone I used to know had put on a card for a returning soldier and pretty damn distasteful in my opinion) to be printed on the cake I would have no issues with that being refused by a Muslim baker.

    So essentially someone shouldn’t be able to refuse something they disagree with purely for religious reasons unless it’s grossly offensive, or in very poor taste.

    Norn Irn’s pretty shocking when it comes to this sort of thing – you can’t buy croissants because they’re “bent”, fairy cakes are out (so to speak) and the butcher’s won’t sell mince, it has to be a pound of “manly walk”

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    the butcher’s won’t sell mince, it has to be a pound of “manly walk”

    Thanks, I now have coffee up my nose.

    which is an obvious straw man to anyone with a shred of critical thinking. A vegetarian cafe Ashers Bakery will sell to anyone, they just don’t sell meat pro gay rights cakes. They don’t sell a lot of other things too, Nissan exhaust parts for example. The only way that analogy would hold water would be if a vegetarian cafe Ashers Bakery refused to serve meat-eaters, all gay people rather than just not sell meat pro gay rights cakes.

    MSP
    Member

    That really doesn’t work.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    They don’t sell “pro gay rights cakes,” they sell cakes with writing on them.

    I wonder idly whether their Christian sensibilities would permit them to make an Eid Mubarak cake on request, or provide the catering for a bar mitzvah.

    Premier Icon jonm81
    Subscriber

    Last I looked, marrying your cousin is against the law, whereas being gay is not.

    Surprisingly it isn’t as cousins are considered distant enough not to affect the gene pool. Legally you can even sleep with them if you want.

    An example of religious beliefs getting in the way of retail service is catholic and muslim pharmacists refusing to administer the morning after pill. A pharmacy and the NHS cannot legally force the pharmacist to carry out this service (nor discipline them for refusing) even if it is contractual as there is a legal right to refuse service on religious grounds. This is direct discrimination against the customer based on religious beliefs

    So essentially someone shouldn’t be able to refuse something they disagree with purely for religious reasons unless it’s grossly offensive, or in very poor taste.

    Exactly, but the difficulty comes from what you define as “grossly offensive or in very poor taste”. What may not be grossly offensive to you may well be to someone with religious beliefs. It is the same difficulty faced by police and the CPS in deciding when to charge/prosecute someone under that offensive communications act. Plenty of people have been charged despite the fact what they said may not be offensive to you or me.

    In this case the baker found the slogan grossly offensive and refused to make the cake. I don’t have issue with that. If they had refused to make any form of cake and refused any service to gay people that would rightly be discrimination and they should be hammered for it.

    I should say that I don’t agree with the bakers views/opinions/beliefs but neither do I agree with the customer trying to force them to do something against their beliefs.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    That really doesn’t work.

    Hmm I think I get greatapes point (and tatchell’s from the link further up) I’m just not sure it’s right.
    If the baker verdict is upheld a jewish printer was asked to make a holocaust denial poster he would have to do it – well no they wouldn’t because holocaust deniers aren’t protected. Do we have a “protected from discrimination” slogan to use as an example? (I know there was the example above but I’m pretty sure soldiers aren’t a legally protected group)

    It’s a tricky one as “I specifically disagree with the pro gay marriage slogan” may be acceptable but religious groups do have a history of discrimination, so is the “it’s only the slogan I disagree with, I love gays really” just a new tack to take for the appeal?

    hels
    Member

    Indeed.

    I also wonder if there is a list, or a cut-off point, or some kind of sliding scale.

    I think we should indulge in some proper scientific research and flood their ordering system with requests of this nature, see who gets to place and order and all report back.

    I’m going for a Fox Hunting Éclair.

    hels
    Member

    As a purely factual observation – I don’t think Holocaust Denier is on the list of protected statuses under the Equalities Act. I will check.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Surely the shop can accept or decline what ever custom they want? That’s their loss….

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Surely the shop can accept or decline what ever custom they want? That’s their loss….

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Surely the shop can accept or decline what ever custom they want? That’s their loss….

    well no because if you walk into a shop and try to buy a packet of crisps and the proprietor says “no I won’t sell that to you because you’re the wrong colour/sex/other protected thing” then that would be discrimination and illegal.

    Premier Icon D0NK
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    I don’t think Holocaust Denier is on the list of protected statuses under the Equalities Act

    I doubt it, similarly I don’t think fat, ginger or people called tarquin are legally protected either so presumably you could discriminate on those grounds. It might make you a dick but I don’t think you’d end up in court for it.
    that sound about right?

    jimjam
    Member

    Exactly, but the difficulty comes from what you define as “grossly offensive or in very poor taste”.

    n this case the baker found the slogan grossly offensive and refused to make the cake. I don’t have issue with that.

    Just to quickly recap, the cake was supposed to say “support gay marriage”. This wouldn’t even be an issue, it wouldn’t even be a cake, were it not for the religiously motivated political maneuverings of the DUP/Free Presbyterians.

    It should also be noted that Ashers, by the same token would/should refuse to bake cakes with any of the following slogans

    “Women should have the same rights as men”

    “Humans evolved from other primates”

    “The earth is older than 3000 years old”

    “People of other faiths will not burn in hell”

    and so on, and so on….

    crankboy
    Member

    a critical point missed in the debate above is that they accepted the order then changed their minds because of the gayness , it is discrimination to behave in a way that is not directly discriminatory but tends to disproportionately impact on a protected group .

    jimjam
    Member

    crankboy – Member

    a critical point missed in the debate above is that they accepted the order then changed their minds because of the gayness ,

    jimjam
    Ashers had originally agreed to bake the cake…. but they changed their minds no doubt after consulting with their friends in the DUP, the Free Presbyterian Church and the Christian Institute.

    I thought (relying on memory alone here) it was a staff member that took the order and then a boss that subsequently declined it? Which I took to mean the staff member was unaware that such an order was unacceptable to the bosses when they took it.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    Should have tried the Pagan baker down the road.

    bazzer
    Member

    Its all pretty simple really isnt it.

    They are quite within their rights to say we won’t make that design of cake for you, but we are happy to make you any other.

    Its not OK to say we are not going to make any cake for you because your, gay, female, black etc.

    Its not really that hard to work out is it !!!!

    Premier Icon jonm81
    Subscriber

    Jimjam, so if you went into a known Muslim/Hindu/Sikh bakery and asked for a cake saying “support Christian beliefs” you would fully expect them to make it? Following the original decision they would legally have to. How do you think they would be treated by their community if it was then published that they made a cake directly denouncing their own faith/beliefs?

    It is not the wording of the slogan that they found offensive but its meaning. They do not support gay marriage due to their religious beliefs and made a conscious decision not to make a cake with that particular slogan on it.

    Why deliberately make someone go against their beliefs just because you don’t agree with them. Just let them continue to hold their beliefs in the knowledge they have identified themselves as backward thinking morons and avoid them in the future knowing they are in the minority.

    Premier Icon jonm81
    Subscriber

    They are quite within their rights to say we won’t make that design of cake for you, but we are happy to make you any other.

    What you said is exactly how it should be but now it’s not that simple because the original decision means they don’t have the right to say “we won’t make that design of cake for you, but we are happy to make you any other”.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
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    Just let them continue to hold their beliefs in the knowledge they have identified themselves as backward thinking morons and avoid them in the future knowing they are in the minority.

    Are they? I think homophobia is still very prevalent in society, and I reckon the majority will probably still hold some level of homophobic views, though most will keep quiet. Definitely a generational thing and it is improving, but I’d say it’s still a big problem

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Reading back on a couple of previous news articles, the excuse they gave wasn’t homophobia but rather (paraphrasing) “it says so in the bible.” Isn’t that the salient point that needs challenging? Does the bible explicitly preclude same-sex marriage? Where?

    And if, in fact, it doesn’t, their argument is moot so they’d be able to make the cake as ordered after all. Unless, y’know, they’re really a bunch of screaming homophobes who are using religion as an excuse. But that can’t be true can it, hardly “Christian values.”

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Here’s the quote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-28206581

    In an online statement, Mr McArthur said: “The directors and myself looked at it and considered it and thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs.
    It certainly was at odds with what the Bible teaches, and on the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn’t take his order.”

    Certainly?

    There are grey areas in which you could say that the statement was a political viewpoint rather than based on homophobia, and having Tatchell on the side of the bakers may be significant.

    However, IMHO you don’t see the situation in the cartoon below very often, so I’m going to go with bigotry as the best explanation.

    Incidentally, you never see “christians” refusing to serve prawn sandwiches or bacon butties to women on their period, or people wearing clothes with more then one type of cloth.

    Some would say that that makes them massive hypocrites, who have historically tailored their religion to disadvantage certain specific groups?

    Hmmmm?

    jimjam
    Member

    jonm81

    Jimjam, so if you went into a known Muslim/Hindu/Sikh bakery and asked for a cake saying “support Christian beliefs” you would fully expect them to make it? Following the original decision they would legally have to. How do you think they would be treated by their community if it was then published that they made a cake directly denouncing their own faith/beliefs?

    I would if it was just a high street bakery catering to everyone which happened to be owned by muslims/sikhs/whoever. Which is exactly the case here.

    It’s a different story if it’s a shop called “Ashers Christian Cakes” and there is adequate signage and indication that they won’t print anything which would go against their “faith”.

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