Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Northern Ireland's Equality Commission Targets Bakery For Refusing To Bake A Cake Using Sesame Street Characters As Propaganda For Same Sex "Marriage"

Bert and Ernie gay "marriage" cake refused by Northern Ireland bakery

Ashers Baking Company accused of "discrimination" after refusing to make cake featuring gay pressure-group slogan.
The manager of Ashers Baking Company said the cake featuring the Sesame Street duo would be 'at odds with what the Bible teaches'.
A Northern Ireland bakery run by devout Christians could face legal action after it refused to make a gay-themed cake depicting the Sesame Street couple Bert and Ernie.

Ashers Baking Company published a statement on its website defending its decision to refuse to bake the cake as the slogan above the puppets was in support of gay "marriage".

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where gay "marriage" is still not legal. That ban is expected to face a challenge later this year, firstly in the high court in Belfast, with the possibility of the action going all the way to the European court of human rights.

Northern Ireland's first openly gay mayor, Andrew Muir, has backed legal action against the bakery, saying businesses should not be able to pick and choose who they serve even it violates their religionshowing why it's assur to ever vote for a openly gay candidate (Hear that KJ).  When this low life was elected he said “My sexuality hasn’t been an issue for me nor for my electorate nor my constituents since I became a councillor in 2010.  “And it won’t be a defining issue for me as mayor because the challenge as mayor is to reach out and represent everyone across our society – people of different faiths, backgrounds.” I guess his real name is Andrew MuLiar 

In its statement, the firm's general manager, Daniel McArthur, said: "The directors and myself looked at it and considered it and thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs. It certainly was at odds with what the Bible teaches, and on the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn't take his order."

McArthur said the company had offered to fully refund the customer, who wanted to have the logo of the pressure group QueerSpace on the cake.

The 24-year-old businessman, whose company was established in 1992, runs six shops in the region and employs 62 people, confirmed he had received a letter from the Equality commission for Northern Ireland.

He said: "We thought that was the end of it, but approximately six weeks later we received a letter from the Equality commission. The commission's letter said that we had "discriminated" against the customer on the grounds of his sexual orientation."

McArthur said he was very surprised by the watchdog's letter and had asked the Christian Institute, an evangelical pressure group, for advice. The institute supports the bakery's stance and is providing legal assistance.

McArthur said: "I feel if we don't take a stand on this here case, how can we stand up against it, further down the line?"

He added that it was not the first time his company had refused cake orders: "In the past, we've declined several orders which have contained pornographic images and offensive, foul language."

Muir, the outgoing mayor of North Down and a gay member of the "centrist" Alliance party, said the Bert and Ernie cake was for an event he was hosting in the constituency in May. He said it was ordered to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia on 17 May.

"Businesses should not be able to pick and choose who they serve," he said, adding that he would be supportive of legal action against the bakery.

"For Northern Ireland to prosper and overcome our divisions we need a new society where businesses are willing to cater for all, regardless of religious views including those you oppose or is that religious actions, political opinion if your liberal, disability, race, age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender and other backgrounds.

"I was pleased that another bakery, in Bangor, was able to step in and produce this cake for the event I hosted as mayor of North Down. We were able to ensure that this event went ahead, despite the actions of Ashers Bakery, and enjoyed a great afternoon celebrating the vibrant diversity Northern Ireland enjoys."

Gavin Boyd of the gay rights organisation the Rainbow Project, said the firm "cannot have their cake and eat it" in relation to equality legislation in Northern Ireland. "The law on this matter is clear. Companies may not pick and choose the laws that apply to them and they cannot pick the sexual orientation of their customers," Boyd said.

The Equality commission for Northern Ireland said: "In this case the commission has granted assistance to the complainant, and has written to the company concerned on his behalf. The commission will consider any response before taking further action."
(the guardian)highlights my additions

Would Satmar Have the Courage to do this?
The clash began in May when Mr Gareth Lee, from the QueerSpace pressure group, ordered a cake with the words 'support gay "marriage"' and featuring Bert and Ernie from 'Sesame Street'.

The order was accepted by staff at the Belfast branch but when the owners, Colin and Karen McArthur and their son Daniel, learned of the order they rejected it.

Daniel McArthur (24) said Mr Lee got a full refund. Six weeks later the firm was "very surprised" to receive a letter from the Equality Commission, alleging it had "discriminated" against Mr Lee on the grounds of his sexual orientation. how did they even know he was gay?  wouldn't a "normal" person also not get the cake?

Mr McArthur said "I would like the outcome of this to be that any Christians running a business could be allowed to follow their Christian beliefs and principles in the day-to-day running of their business and that they are allowed to make decisions based on that."
He pointed out that marriage in Northern Ireland "is defined as the union between one man and one woman".

Mr Lee declined to comment when contacted yesterday.
(independent) highlights my additions

The Christian institute, which is supporting the bakery, says it is not discriminatory for managers to refuse to endorse a political campaign. (Irish Post)
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland wrote to the firm claiming it is breaking the law by discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation, ordering them to “remedy your illegal discrimination” within seven days or be taken to court by the commission.
The Christian institute, supporting the bakery, says it is not discriminatory for managers to refuse to endorse a political campaign.
Colin Hart, chief executive of the Christian Institute, told the Telegraph newspaper: “This is a sign of things to come exactly as we predicted.
“The Government repeatedly failed to listen to members of the public, lawyers, constitutional experts even its own MPs when they called for safeguards to protect those who back traditional marriage.”
Hart claims that millions of people who do not agree with gay "marriage" face intimidation and the threat of legal action from the “forces of political correctness.”
“It establishes a dangerous precedent about the power of the state over an individual, or business to force them to go against their deeply held beliefs,” he said.
While the customer was unwilling to comment, a spokesman for The Rainbow Project, affiliated with QueerSpace, told RT the legal complaint was correct and that the “untenable situation” for gay marriage in Northern Ireland posed awkward constitutional questions.
“All the McArthurs want is to run their bakery according to their Christian beliefs,” Director Colin Hart stated in a news release. “There won’t be many situations where they need to turn down an order but this is obviously one of them. No one should be forced to use their creative skills to promote a cause which goes against their consciences. Imbalanced equality laws are making it increasingly hard for people, especially Christians.”
He stated that forcing business owners to promote views contrary to their deeply-held convictions would never be allowed in any other situation.
“Imagine the uproar if the Equality Commission said that an environmentally-conscious baker had to produce a cake saying ‘Support fracking,’ or if they threatened a feminist bakery for refusing to print a ‘Sharia for UK’ cake,” Hart stated.
(Christian News)

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