Northern Irish Bakery Refuses to Bake Pro Gay Cake

This story has been all over the online tabloids in seems. There is a bakery in Northern Ireland who have point black refused to bake a cake for an LGBT rights organisation advocating for marriage equality. The indended cake would have had a picture of Bert and Earnie from Sesemy Street with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage"

But the general manager refused based on religious grounds

“We considered it, looked at it and decided that it was at odds with our beliefs and was in contradiction with what the Bible teaches. 

The company was founded by Christians, the current directors are Christians, that means that we run a business by Christian values and beliefs, based on what the Bible teaches. That also means for example that we don’t open on Sundays and we trade openly and honestly with people." -Daniel McArthur-

But the law in Northern Ireland is quite clear on its position regarding discrimination. The Equality Commission says that they are in breach of the stated law that prohibits discrimination in the provision of goods and services to people on the grounds of their sexuality. 

My feelings on this are quite simple, religion has no place in the business and it is simply unprofessional to being religion into a business that isn't connected with a church.

Full story is available at Journal.ie

Views: 439

Tags: Christianity, discrimaiton, equality, gay, ireland, lgbt, marriage, same, sex

Comment by Strega on July 11, 2014 at 7:35pm
@Unseen. I would bring the weight of the state to bear, on all those cases you outlined. It's a shame that law is actually needed, but it is, and so it exists.

Sometimes I think it goes a bit extreme, but as a general rule, I don't think you should be able to deny service based on the attributes or nature of the customer, but I do think you should be able to deny producing something you don't want to produce without penalty.
Comment by Unseen on July 11, 2014 at 9:08pm

Kris, if I remember right, in a previous discussion on a very similar subject involving gays and cakes your objection seemed to be against a baker who didn't just decline to do a special order cake but gave as a reason for doing so antipathy toward gays. The implication being that, apart from being that explicit, merchants of course could tell potential customers that they couldn't do the work. Presumably, a merchant who wanted to decline the work without getting into trouble would be well-advised not to give the true reason or to give one that functioned as an excuse (e.g., "I don't have time" or "I'm short-staffed"), which in my world is called lying.

Comment by kris feenstra on July 11, 2014 at 9:13pm
No, I have never said that. I said that a merchant can try that and maybe they will get caught; maybe they won't. It's a far from perfect loophole which we cannot completely close without going all thought police on people. I never said I would do it or condone it in principle.
Comment by Davis Goodman on July 11, 2014 at 9:32pm

@Erok and unseen. The state MAY and in cases HAS obliged merchants to offer services to a customer if the only motive for denying the service is not taste or time or resources but instead on a discriminatory matter. In this case the customer here was not refused on a matter of taste or time or resources but rather because of the customers ideology.

If it was a matter of taste the cake shop owner could have simply worked it out and found a nicer way to express the message or substitute images of Bert and Ernie with something more refined or produced the cake and all minus the message and then referred the customer to a decorator who would write whatever message they wanted on the cake. These things are easily worked out in the business world all the time.

The cake shop owner simply wanted nothing to do with the customer as is the case with bigoted cake shop owners making wedding cakes. Yes ... you absolutely are obliged to offer your services if the only reason for denying them would be a matter of bigotry. Especially in cases where there are limited options in a locality. This is why several states have come down hard on shops who won't make gay wedding cakes ... as they should.

As a secondary note, no the market won't come down on a pastry shop if they are one of only two in town. Just as Americans are forced to choose between a crappy phone carrier or a shitty one the market is often pretty lousy at penalizing businesses for being terrible at customer service.

Comment by Unseen on July 11, 2014 at 11:08pm

@Strega - I don't think you should be able to deny service based on the attributes or nature of the customer, but I do think you should be able to deny producing something you don't want to produce without penalty.

That position strikes me as allowing of contradictions.

Comment by Unseen on July 11, 2014 at 11:12pm

@Kris - I have never said that. I said that a merchant can try that and maybe they will get caught; maybe they won't. It's a far from perfect loophole which we cannot completely close without going all thought police on people. I never said I would do it or condone it in principle.

And yet, your position is congruent with the idea that if one wants to discriminate without consequence, all one has to do is to do it quietly or with misdirection.

Comment by kris feenstra on July 11, 2014 at 11:36pm
Incorrect.
Comment by Joshua D. on July 12, 2014 at 12:08am
+5 internets nerdy Keith.

The cakes are even upset. They are all in tiers.

On a serious not I wonder if they refuse making Islamic/Buddhist/Taoist themed cakes.

All their cakes must concord with scripture? Seems to me a poor business model.
Comment by Unseen on July 12, 2014 at 11:49am

I'd be surprised if the baker's prejudices stop with gays.

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