Logan ‘A company should be able to endorse views they wish to endorse’

Phillip Logan is a DUP MLA for North Antrim The Ashers case has attracted interest from all over the globe. It’s unlikely that you will find a neutral individual when it comes to this case – most people have an opinion on the injustice or the discrimination or even the disbelief that a cake has caused such a stir. The truth is that this ruling has polarised people but it shouldn’t, it should unite us, because this ruling has implication … Read more

Foster says DUP will use POC to block marriage equality + criticises Equality Commission

DUP leader and First Minister Arlene Foster says DUP will continue to use Petition of Concern to block Equal Marriage legislation. In the same pre-conference interview with Press Association, she criticised the Equality Commission’s handling of the Ashers case, saying that they “need to have a long hard look at how they work with faith communities in Northern Ireland”.

Ashers lose appeal in ‘cake’ case

COURT OF APPEAL found that Ashers Baking Company is not allowed to only provide a service to people who agree with their religious beliefs: “In the present case the appellants might elect not to provide a service that involves any religious or political message. What they may not do is provide a service that only reflects their own political or religious message in relation to sexual orientation.”

Question Time: Gay Cake

On a day when the Republic of Ireland goes to the polls on marriage equality, interesting to see cross party support for the Ashers ‘gay cake’ verdict from the major parties in Great Britain. On the panel for last night’s BBC Question Time were Nicky Morgan (Conservative), Stella Creasy (Labour), Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat), columnist Owen Jones and businesswoman Hilary Devey. Take note DUP. [twitter_follow username=”https://twitter.com/The_Firemen” language=”en”]     The Firemenhttps://twitter.com/The_Firemen

Jenny Palmer: Betrayed by the DUP

Yesterday was not a good day for the DUP. First was the verdict on the Ashers ‘gay cake’ case – an issue that seems to have become inextricably linked to the DUP thanks to the support from figures within the party. Paul Givan appeared on television shortly afterwards to give his ‘verdict‘ on the actual verdict. Mr. Givan also committed to pursue his doomed conscience clause. Then came last night’s compelling BBC NI Spotlight programme on Jenny Palmer; the ‘whistleblower’ who … Read more

Ashers verdict: ‘To do otherwise would be to allow a religious belief to dictate what the law is’

The County Court in Belfast has ruled that Ashers Baking Company and its directors discriminated against a gay customer, Gareth Lee, by refusing to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. The judgment was a resounding vindication of the Equality Commission (response here), which backed Mr Lee’s case. It became the latest in a long list of unsuccessful legal actions against LGBT rights taken or supported by lobby group, the Christian Institute (response here). The case centred on the refusal … Read more

Now Westminster is settled, here’s all the other unsettling business NI politicians need to get back to

It’s back to work on Monday for our local politicians. There’ll be no commission on the union (though David Cameron should now outright reject the idea), no extra £1 billion of cash, and no immediate possibility of bargaining for the 45 ideas in the DUP’s plan. Though over the next parliamentary term there are sure to be plenty of tight votes in which The Northern Ireland Plan can come out of Nigel Dodds’ back pocket and be used as bargaining … Read more

Will Ashers Make Me A Cake…? A Sinful Post

A thought experiment…   I woke up yesterday with a bit of a hangover, I had a lot to drink the night before and was fairly drunk (SIN), I was at a friends partying (SIN) for their birthday. We played a drinking game, you might have heard of it, truth or dare? I was asked when I lost my virginity, I said 16 when it was actually 15 (SIN).  To be honest, we were doing some fairly weird shots, one … Read more

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

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

Cartoon – Spencer on Monday

This is the start of something new. The plan is a regular slot, every Monday morning, with a cartoon taking a look at the main headlines. As some of you know well, for me it all began with Rowel Friers and Ian Knox; But these guys set a legacy hard to match. And so a lot of my work has been hit and miss over the past few years. Over the last 6-9 months I’ve worked attentively on my illustration skills … Read more