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Asher's Bakery Appeal Rejected, Wins Public Support
Here's a tale from across the pond: The owners of a small baking company in Northern Ireland declined to "decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage campaign slogan." In a story that sounds strikingly similar to one here in the U.S., the owners were sued. After losing, they appealed.
Just this week, the Court of Appeal in Belfast rejected their appeal.
But here's the twist: A large number of people who disagree with the bakers on their views of marriage came out in support of their right to choose not to support any given idea.
Here's one example, per the Independent:
"Although I strongly disagree with Ashers’ opposition to marriage equality, in a free society neither they nor anyone else should be compelled to facilitate a political idea they oppose.
"Ashers did not discriminate against the customer, Gareth Lee, because he was gay. They objected to the message he wanted on the cake: 'Support gay marriage.'
"Discrimination against LGBT people is wrong and is rightly unlawful. But in a democratic society, people should be able to discriminate against ideas they disagree with. I am saddened that the court did not reach the same conclusion."
And another example, this one from The Telegraph:
"I don’t want any business to discriminate against gay people. I wish the McArthurs would abandon their silly religious views and bake cakes for everyone. But freedom of religion must surely be respected alongside freedom of sexuality and, as a gay man, I vehemently support the Christian bakers’ right not to bake pro-gay cakes.
"Because one day, the prevailing political consensus may change again. Our lawmakers may once again be tempted to turn against gay people. And on that day, I hope the Christian bakers will stand by me in my fight to protect fundamental freedoms that transcend any cake, any religion and any daft law."
These writers, who disagree with the McArthurs's religious views, still manage to recognize that the couple has a right to hold and act on their religious views. The McArthurs would have objected to the cake that read "Support Gay Marriage" regardless of who asked for it, since their objection was to an idea, not the person asking for it.
And, for a moment of encouragement we'll leave you with the words of the McArthurs themselves.
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