Equality law in Northern Ireland is being used to destroy individual freedom, a leading Catholic barrister has said.Fair 'nuff.
Following a legal ruling in Northern Ireland, in which a judge ruled that a bakery run by Christians discriminated against a gay customer by refusing to bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan, Neil Addison wrote on his personal blog: “The case will undoubtedly be appealed but what does emerge from it is the complete intolerance of the “equality” industry and the way in which equality law is being used to destroy individual freedom including the freedom of a bakery company to decide what products it wants to make.”
Neil Addison said that it was surprising that the judge ruled that the bakery had discriminated on the grounds of sexual orientation.Yes, as even I, in my ignorance thought.
But ah ha!
He said: “Northern Ireland is unique in the UK for in making discrimination on the grounds of political opinion explicitly unlawful and this arises from the long history of sectarian division in Northern Ireland where religion, nationality and political opinion were so often synonymous with British/Unionist/Protestant identity facing Irish/Republican/Catholic identity.And that makes sense.
And I think I might even approve of such a law, although previously I would have said, heck yeah, if a local church didn't want to rent their fellowship hall to a white supremacist group that was anti-immigrant, and not supported such a law.
But I can see how trying to put an end to discrimination against persons on account of their political opinions is a value that might require nurtuing in northern Ireland.
HOWEVER.... I still feel that forcing a merchant to to sell someone cake, and forcing a merchant to sell someone a specific cake AND BEING REQUIRED TO WRITE ON THAT CAKE SOMETHING THAT VIOLATED ONES BELIEFS are two very different matters.
That's just me.
But I am always open to hear why I am wrong.
For instance, could someone explain nicely why the specter of polygamy is a "red herring" in the campaign against allowing people to marry those of their own sex?
So far the most cogent reasoning I have found is, ".... because it's different, that's why! It's apples and oranges," whihc has left me unconvinced.