Legal implications if the Equality Commission wins gay cake case

The Belfast Telegraph have another article on the long running gay cake saga. They have obtained the legal opinion procured by the Christian Institute (as indeed have the Daily Telegraph) from a leading human rights barrister: Martix Chambers’ Aidan O’Neill QC. From the Daily Telegraph: Mr O’Neill argued that the Commission’s case ignores human rights protections and said the bakery’s case was based on the same principles as Sir Thomas More’s refusal recognise Henry VIII to be the Supreme Head … Read more

#Soapbox: Why Ashers was right, but the conscience clause was wrong…

From reader AJ Fence I am pro gay marriage and pro cake. I think the conscience clause is a horrid little idea that would declare open season on discrimination against LGBT people and even religious people themselves. However, I do believe Ashers bakery should have the right to refuse to bake the cake in question. The Cake By requesting the the slogan “support gay marriage”, this was a cake making a political statement, not a wedding cake. I believe that if … Read more

Gay Life in NI if the Conscience Clause Were Enacted

It was a summer Friday in 2008, and we were in a provincial town West of the Bann. Jordin Sparks was Number 1 and Ian Paisley’s tenure as leader of Our Wee Country had ended a few weeks before. We’d planned a day trip, but we’d ended up exploring a bit further than expected. It was chilly for June, but the showers from earlier had cleared into that gorgeous, soft, summer evening light that is the thing I miss most … Read more

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 … Read more

Peter Robinson on Westminster and defending Ashers Bakery from the “Big Brigade” of the Equality Commission #DUP14

As things wrapped up in the afternoon at the DUP Conference, I managed to get some time with the First Minister, Peter Robinson to discuss the conference, the upcoming election and the DUP’s support for Asher’s Bakery. I began by asking him how he felt the mood of his conference was this year? Not surprisingly, Robinson told me that the party was in “good spirits” this year as they had a large overflow of delegates in the main hall, as … Read more

Has the Equality Commission Gone ‘Baking Mad’?

Peter Lynas is Director of the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland. He writes here protesting against what he sees as “a fundamental attack on political and religious freedom”, arguing that the Equality Commission has lost all sense of perspective on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion with regard to the Ashers case. The Equality Commission has decided to take Asher’s Baking Company to court because it refused to make what has become known as ‘the gay cake’. … Read more

Icing added to Gay cake row

The saga of Asher’s bakery and the “gay cake row” continues. The Equality Commission has apparently sent a letter to Asher’s last week threatening legal action for discrimination on the grounds of discrimination over political beliefs which seems somewhat different from the original threats of legal action on the grounds of sexual orientation discrimination. From the News Letter: General manager of the bakers Daniel McArthur said he had now received a letter from the commission claiming his stance breached legislation. … Read more

PCI conference – Church in the Public Square – Roger Trigg, Colin Harvey, Michael Wardlow (Thu 9 Oct)

I’m firmly of the belief that churches deserve to be in the public square, but they need to take the initiative to elbow their way into the crowded agora and have something worthwhile to say. While peace and reconciliation efforts were made both at grassroots and denominational levels, over the last 40 years some inconvenient issues were ignored. There is much that the church could challenge, holding up Gospel values against Executive policies nevermind Executive politics. It’s good to see … Read more