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The bigoted Ulster cake makers Ashers and our silly laws

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 19 May 2015

Ulster cake makers Ashers were today penalised and ordered to pay £500 compensation to gay rights campaigner Gareth Lee becuase they discriminated against him by refusing to produce a cake proclaiming support for gay marriage.  Ashers is run by devout Christians who claim this is a matter of conscience.

I tend to think that Ashers is run by bigots but they risk their own capital running a shop and so should be free to sell to whom they want. Other cake shops will produce cakes celebrating gay marriage so it is not as if Mr Lee could not use his pink pounds to get a cake anywhere. 

I would hope that enough folks would choose to boycott shops run by bigots and so market forces would encourage reactionaries like Ashers to be more tolerant. And the same should apply to B&Bs (another court case you may remember) and any other commercial outlet. Getting the law involved has simply wasted vast amounts of taxpayers cash. I suspect Ashers will now get a stack of sympathy custom.

There are folks out there who find homosexuality awkward. We cannot change that. In a civilised society they should accept it. But to force them to be part of a process of endorsing it  with the heavy hand of the law will only cause resentment and will not ultimately do anything other than entrench some less than enlightened views.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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