The troubling logic at the heart of the ‘Gay cake’ ruling

The troubling logic at the heart of the ‘Gay cake’ ruling, by Melanie McDonagh.

My late [Catholic] father was a pottery maker, and very good at it. Question is, if a Northern Protestant had come to his studio to request that he produce a teaset decorated with the legend: ‘Taigs Out of Ulster!’ or ‘Kick the Pope!’ perhaps with decoration to match, would my daddy have been obliged to oblige him … ?

I am sorry to say that my daddy would almost certainly have produced the teaset, with imaginative anti-papist flourishes, taken the man’s money, and been glad to get it. He would have flourished his bundle of Protestant tenners and told the story in every social gathering he attended. But should he have been obliged to?

A dispute about a cake with a message supporting gay marriage went to court in Ireland:

That was pretty well the situation of Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland. A customer with whom it did business requested a cake bearing the icing: ‘Support Gay Marriage’. The proprietors declined on the basis this was against their beliefs …  drew the line at icing propaganda in support of something they regarded as against the law of God.

Mr Lee was outraged …  the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has upheld Mr Lee’s complaint. The baker, Daniel McArthur, says today that:

‘If equality law means being punished for not supporting other people’s causes then equality law has to change. This was never about the customer, it was about the message…We wouldn’t decorate a cake with a pornographic picture or a spiteful message.’ …

Having your cake and eating it is one thing; how it is decorated can be a matter of conscience.

hat-tip Stephen Neil