Gay cake row: best before 27th February

The infamous gay cake row now has a date for the court case. The legal case between the tax payer funded Quango, the Equality Commission, and Ashers Bakery is set for 26th and 27th February. The charity lobby group the Christian Institute is supporting Ashers and is to hold fundraising events in Belfast, Coleraine, Newry and the Clogher Valley.

Meanwhile the Rainbow Project held rallies against Paul Girvan’s Conscience Clause Bill in Belfast, Londonderry, Newry with varying attendances. The rally in Belfast was addressed by Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International: whether this is deeply ironic / hypocritical or not depends on one’s position. Jim Allister has established that the Rainbow project has received almost £40,000 per year from the departments of Health and Social Development.

It remains to be seen if the gay cake row is used by 27the February. Alternatively if it goes to appeal the cake will have to go into the freezer to be used later.

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  • Pete

    I have to say, the legal action against Asher’s confuses me.

    They weren’t discriminating against the customer because of his political opinions or sexuality. A heterosexual, or someone who personally opposed gay marriage, would still have been refused that cake.

    So as far as I can see, there was no discrimination occurring.

  • Robin Keogh

    There is a lot of window dressing going on over this issue. There are also various forms of justification for ashers behaviour from religious sensitivities to an attempt to suggest that their behaviour is nondiscriminatory. Of course political Unionism is full square behind Ashers, this should not come as a surprise to any of us; when discriminatory behaviour is built into your DNA, a victim will always be found. However lets hope that the equality commission are successful in their efforts. Individuals who wish to make their living providing a service to the public need to be made aware that their can be no tolerance of discrimination against people who are asking to be provided a service that in no way damages the service provider, or requires the provider to sacrifice their religious freedom. If ashers dont approve of gay marraige, fine, simply dont marry someone of the same sex. If they really believe God will barr them from heaven by baking a cake, then i suggest they get professional psychiatric help pronto.

  • Makhno

    Of course, it’s not really about a cake and you know it. The issue is the limiting of ‘conscience’ when we engage in the public sphere, or qualified rights, if you will. If Ashers want to behave as they do, let them become a Christian Cake Club. If a child disrespects its parents in their shop, do they have a death penalty?

  • aber1991

    He is also a supporter of integrated education and of illegal immigrants who are masquerading as “refugees”.

  • aber1991

    I disagree with you entirely. People who disapprove of homosexuality have a right to their opinions and to keep themselves well away from any activity which could be construed as approval for homosexuality. The attack on the bakery is Political Correctness Fascism – paid for by the taxpayer.

  • Robin Keogh

    I agree with u. If one dissapproves of something they are quite entitled to keep themselves away. They are NOT entitled to offer a public service and then discriminate against members of the public in the way ashers are trying to. If that was the case you could end up with bus drivers refusing to carry divorcees or doctors refusing to treat sexually promiscuous people for STDs or retail sales reps refusing to sell goods to people simply on the basis of opposing views. The bakery being called to task is no different than a nazi officer being arrested for starving a jewish person. The taxpayer includes those who are being discriminated against dont forget.

  • Turgon

    Well that’s you argument pretty wrecked. Godwin’s Law strikes again and only 7 posts in.

  • Gerry Lynch

    He supports integrated education? Imagine that! Hanging’s clearly too good for him!

  • Robin Keogh

    Nice try but a failure of course because early nazi tendancies were discrininatory in exactly the same way ashers are trying to be and these discriminations were protected and supported by the same types of people who are doing likewise now. Refusing to help serve or assist anyone on the basis of their colour creed or sexual orientation, or attempts to refuse service on the basis of same goes right to the heart of discrimination. They may not like the nazi comparison, but if the shoe fits ….

  • nigel mckinney

    so no organisation funded by the government is allowed to criticise it?

  • Turgon

    So Ashers refusing to bake a cake is the same as Nazi discrimination against Jews?

    And you have repeated it??

    When in a hole stop digging

  • Robin Keogh

    The only hole being dug is by ashers, lets hope they get buried in it.

  • nigel mckinney

    yeah – hes the anti christ obviously. Imagine someone having the guts and ability to get out there and speak against various injustices. Shame on him.

  • nigel mckinney

    or a poster saying that unionists have discrimination built into their DNA?

  • Robin Keogh

    If you are going to quote me try focus on doing it accurately rather than focus on your paranoia. I never said unionists have discrim built into their DNA, i said political Unionism does, there is quite a difference there man

  • Dan

    How buried do you want to see them?
    Want the business closed down…is that the right outcome?.shut up shop, board up the premises and throw their employees on the dole all because some homosexuals with an agenda and some quango taxpayer subsidised creeps need to find something to justify their existence?

  • Robin Keogh

    Their premises and employees could be well accomodated by a professional baker willing to serve all members of the public, while the ashers could pretty much go wherever the f@#k they want.maybe bake cakes for the klu klux klan or possibly that southern american crazy baptist church or how about setting up in northern nigeria where the burning corpses of other homosexuals with an agenda could generate a fine raised sponge. Or maybe stay put, be decent kind and loving people enjoying the protection of the state paid for by all tax payers, including the homosexual ones.

  • David T

    Of course, no one associated on the side of Ashers Bakery is ever willing to respond to the question ‘will they bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage?’. Of course, everyone knows they will not, so we’ll be back to the courts again. No wonder the Christian Institute is desperate for funds.

  • aber1991

    “If that was the case you could end up with bus drivers refusing to carry divorcees or doctors refusing to treat sexually promiscuous people for STDs or retail sales reps refusing to sell goods to people simply on the basis of opposing views”

    Please compare like with like. If the bus driver is driving his own bus, he should have a right to refuse to transport divorcees – if he does not want their money. If the doctor is self-employed, he should have a right to refuse to treat promiscuous people.

  • aber1991

    I agree.

  • Robin Keogh

    Ya, next you will be telling that its ok for catholic fruit seller to refuse to sell bananas to a protestant customer. Would you wise up man

  • Makhno

    Bigots should be shut down, if they can’t learn to behave. This same argument was made against the minimum wage, disability legislation (weak as it is) etc. “Some companies will close if they have to pay the mimimum wage” – well, let them. Very few did, as I recall, learning instead to change with the times. ‘Homosexuals with an agenda”, yeah they are looking for equal access to goods and services. Some agenda. Next, they’ll be looking to donate blood…oops…

  • carl marks

    perhaps business’s who don’t wish to serve Gay customers should include it in their advertising, maybe a “no gays” sticker on the door of course if they also have issue’s with any other part of society (i find that if you scratch the surface of the average homophobe you find other hatreds underneath) then they might want to tell us about that as well.
    this would let the civilised part of the human race know what and who we are dealing with and those of us with strongly help beliefs about these small minded bible wavers will know were not to spend our money!
    perhaps that should be added to the conscience clause legislation, let them stand up and be counted and lets see how their business does with “No Gays served” on the publicity.

  • carl marks

    tell me robin on the godwins law thing (now you have been accused of breaking it), does that also extend to comparing people to Stalin if you disapprove of them,
    i have wondered on occasion that shouting Stalinist at those they disapprove is the same as shouting Nazi. I am asking because we get a lot of that on slugger from the christian right,
    for instance someone accused the Green party of being like Stalinist for calling for the sacking of incompetent advisers.

  • carl marks

    No maybe not the Nazis treatment of Jews, but people seem to forget that the Nazi’s sent gay men to the death camps for being Gay.
    and as has been pointed out the death camps and the hatred did not just appear one morning there was years and years of anti gay hatred which led to the mass murders.
    hatred starts somewhere and perhaps if before Hitler people hadn’t been conditioned to hate then maybe Belsen would still just be a village nobody heard of.

  • Roger, Dan – play the ball not each other.

    Roger – “Do the world a favour and turn off your ventilator for the night” leads to your blacklisting

  • Biftergreenthumb

    I support gay marriage and in general think that Christian fundamentalists trying to impose their religious pseudo morality on the rest of the public should be resisted by all right thinking rational people.

    However, if I owned a cake shop and a neo-nazi, for example, came in and asked me to bake them a cake with a swastika and the slogan ‘white power’ on it I’d refuse to do it. As a private business owner surely I have the right to refuse custom? I would feel that it would be unjust for the state to step in and order me to bake nazi cakes.

    Discrimination against people on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation etc is obviously wrong but surely disagreeing with peoples religious, philosophical, political or ethical beliefs is legitimate grounds for refusing to help promote those beliefs.

    Should a publisher of African descent be forced to print racist propaganda? Should a homosexual baker be forced to bake an anti-gay marriage cake? I would answer no to these questions. So even though I disagree with Asher’s stance on gay marriage I support their right to refuse to bake the cake. They are a small private business. If they want to turn away custom because of their backwards degenrate pseudo morality let them.

  • barnshee

    “Some companies will close if they have to pay the mimimum wage” – well, let them. Very few did, as I recall, learning instead to change with the times. ‘”

    Yep they sure did change– workforce levels reduced and rise of min/no, hours contracts unpaid “interns” Sure tehy minimum wagte legislation had no effect (snigger)

  • barnshee

    Er As I understand “GAY MARRIAGE” is currently ” illegal” in NI (correct me if I am wrong)
    Provision of material promoting/advertising illegal acts is “Legal” ?

    M`Lud Our client cannot su[pport an Illegal act—- move for dismissal.
    I rest my case

  • barnshee

    Since “Amnesty” has next to no support in Prod population in NI the poor chap has to raise his profile somehow.

  • Reader

    Well, I’m sure it’s not illegal to campaign for a change in the law, so your argument is a little simplistic.
    However, I’ll be surprised if it turns out to be illegal to refuse to support a campaign to change the law, so Asher’s would probably win on that basis instead.
    By the way, if the Twaddell LADs want a cake to support their campaign, where should they go? And will the Equality Commission (remit includes “political opinion”) back them if they have a problem?

  • Makhno

    And you trace these developments to a minimum wage? I see you managed to spell ‘snigger’ properly, at least.

  • carl marks

    not true, you may support the right of Gay people to get married and indeed you can campaign for it (which is what the cake was for) and it is not against the law to do so.
    a example of this are the drug laws, taking drugs is illegal but campaign for a change in the law is not.
    this is how our legal system works and how we get a lot of our laws.

  • carl marks

    “By the way, if the Twaddell LADs want a cake to support their campaign, where should they go?” how about they go away and do us all a favour and save some taxpayers money as well.

    Oh and if they are paying there is a very good home bakery at just across the road from them, they could go there

  • barnshee

    Two organisations (admittedly small- ish) |I was closely involved with BOTH reduced work force levels as the wage bill increased – make of that what you will –

    “seasonal jobs” in one disappeared providing overtime for a lucky few- but there you go.

    Increased costs –something has to give there is no magic way of getting customers to pay more
    (PS its not my spelling its my typing)

  • barnshee

    “In the 1970s Amnesty would have got on the wrong side of the NIO.
    None of the above issues would get on the wrong side of the NIO.”

    Amnesty has already got on the “wrong side” of the Prod pop thats why it tends to avoid “local” issues

  • barnshee

    “not true, you may support the right of Gay people to get married and indeed you can campaign for it”

    Indeed you can -but can you require someone else to support you campaign?

  • Makhno

    Without knowing the ins and outs of your examples, it’s possible that an organisation is subsisting on low wages, and is not viable on that criterion alone. Or they might be ignoring other costs, most likely profit margin of owners/shareholders if applicable.

    You’ll often find that this latter could give, if there is the will. The issue here is, how far do we race to the bottom without examining all key factors? Discourses are always around ‘costs’ such as labour, never about profit garnered from that labour.

    Which brings me back to the substantive issue. If we are serious about rights within a society, those whose behaviour in any public setting would breach those rights, should be curtailed. I’m sure that there are plenty of non Christian bakers who could employ ex Asher’s staff, or even Christian bakers who don’t feel the need to exclude service on biblical grounds. And anyway, don’t Asher’s make pork sausage rolls? Which makes me wonder about how consistent they are. Re PS; typos forgiven, sniggering not (!)

  • Reader

    Is the bakery legally obliged to accept the order, in your opinion?

  • carl marks

    no you can’t but Ashers were not asked to support any campaign they were asked to bake a cake which they were getting paid for.

  • carl marks

    please display proof of these claims!

  • carl marks

    where do you get your facts from! i know “prods” who are members of Amnesty, both members of the public and minister’s.
    I wish people would stop claiming that all “prods” or taigs for that matter support or don’t support something just because they are Prods or taigs.

  • barnshee

    “but Ashers were not asked to support any campaign they were asked to bake a cake which they were getting paid for.”

    Or in other words assist in the campaign to promote gay marriage?

  • barnshee

    The minimum wage legislation helped improve low waged often menial jobs–it also removed some of them and ” helped ” the zero hours monster to rise.
    Its effect was both good and bad in that sense. The balance good/bad ? —depends on whether you were a “winner” or a loser

  • Makhno

    The zero hours situation has a number of remedies, not least opposition from unions and potentially governments. Its cause is effectively the rapacity of employers, who will always try new variations to get around the law. Recent efforts in the Assembly failed to impress though.

  • carl marks

    I will try this again you chose to ignore it, but i still want proof of your claim,

    where do you get your facts from! i know “prods” who are members of Amnesty, both members of the public and minister’s.

    I wish people would stop claiming that all “prods” or taigs for that matter support or don’t support something just because they are Prods or taigs

  • William Cable

    A Bakery is not a public service you idiot. Public services are the police, NHS etc. A bakery is a privately owned and run commercial enterprise. It’s owners are not in anyway obliged to engage in any specific commercial transactions with any individual. Would you complain if a Unionist Bakery refused to do make a cake with ‘Vote Sinn Fein’ on it? Or vice versa. Would you complain about a pacifist baker refusing to do a cake with soldiers on it? I’m sure there are hundreds of bakers in Northern Ireland willing to fill that order and I fail to see how sparing the customer from having to do a second google search for one of them outweighs the right of the Bakers to their freedom of conscience and association.

  • William Cable

    They don’t refuse to serve gay people. They refused a specific transaction that would involved contributing to particular cause they disagree.

  • barnshee

    I personally know no one who supports Amnesty Int.

    Any DUP supporters in it?

    They are now regarded in the same way as the front organisations “Survivors” and “relatives for” groupings which mysteriously (in spite of public funding) “represent one section of the community and even more mysteriously reflect the position of particular political parties.

    They struggle to get local reps

    http://www.amnesty.org.uk/regional-representatives#.VNC-uWisWSo

    They ruin effective efforts

    http://www.amnesty.org.uk/sites/default/files/time_to_deal_with_the_past_0.pdf
    by total failure to investigate at any- level sectarian murder gangs

    They admit that it
    “reports disproportionately on relatively more democratic and open countries. AI’s intention is NOT to produce a range of reports such that the number of reports on a country correlates precisely with the number and severity of its human rights abuses. Instead, its aim is: (a) to document what it can, to (b) produce pressure for improvement. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Amnesty_International

    PS I USED to be a contributor

    PPS try to get the religious breakdown of the staff at AI in Belfast for some reason (ahem) they won`t say.

  • Tochais Siorai

    ‘…..Any DUP supporters in it? I reckon not too many would get past ‘Amnesty’.
    .
    ‘International’ would have them running for the door.

  • carl marks

    again I know protestants who are members and others who support it, seeing how the rump end of unionism treats those it distrusts (anybody not like them) is it no wonder they can’t get local reps.
    the brief of AI in the main is to hold governments to check,
    the resources bit, seems like a admission that they cannot do everything and concentrate on what they can do. and of course it is more difficult to get local reps in places were violence is possible against them,
    and no real info on the breakdown of staff eh, so a innuendo will do nicely!

  • aber1991

    Is Mairead Corrigan” a relation of this Patrick Amnesty Corrigan?

  • aber1991

    Please mind your manners. Why are you so arrogant? Why do you assume that the only wise people are those who agree with you?

    I think that a Catholic fruit seller should have the right to refuse to sell bananas to a Protestant and vice -versa. Most merchants cannot afford that luxury or, if they do, are unwilling to miss the opportunity for more sales revenue.

  • Robin Keogh

    Idiot? Really ?

  • Robin Keogh

    If you really believe that its ok to discriminate on the grounds of religion there is very little i can say that is likely to change the views of someone such as yourself.

  • Zeno

    “The bakery being called to task is no different than a nazi officer being arrested for starving a jewish person”

    JESUS CHRIST.

  • Zeno

    “perhaps business’s who don’t wish to serve Gay customers”

    That is a completely different issue that Robin is trying to muddy the waters with. Ashers refused to bake a cake. They didn’t refuse to serve a gay person.

  • barnshee

    “the brief of AI in the main is to hold governments to check,
    the resources bit, seems like a admission that they cannot do everything and concentrate on what they can do”

    Weasel words for partiality

    “and no real info on the breakdown of staff eh, so a innuendo will do nicely!”

    Where there is nothing to hide put it in the public domain( FOIs don`t work) unless of course…..

  • nigel mckinney

    have you missed the work Amnesty and Patrick Corrigan have been doing with survivors of institutional sexual abuse? Assume you must have – for someone who claims to be interested in social justice – your comments on Amnesty and Mr Corrigan are far from social or just

  • nigel mckinney

    whats a Unionist Bakery?

  • Croiteir

    It is about time that a conscience bill is introduced to prevent these silly cases getting into court. Of course you should be able to decide who you want to trade with or not.

  • Tacapall
  • carl marks

    “weasel words” that is way it was set up.
    governments need watching that what AI does.
    Now you think it is biased because it investigates those murder’s the government was involved in, but that is it’s job,
    I am sorry that the world isn’t wired the way you would like it but that the way it is.
    so in reply to my innuendo charge you reply with another innuendo, good tactic convinced me!

  • kalista63