I’m going to send them a cake in the post. Made out of shit.
But to be fair, asking them to put what can be considered a political slogan on a cake in order to make a point (or a court case) was of course a bit of a heavy handed way to stir up trouble. If the writing on the cake had been a loving message from Bert to Ernie, for example, being overtly gay but not referring to possible legislation, would the cake makers have refused them? Possibly, yes. Would the cake makers win the case? Probably not.
going in and asking for a non-political cake whilst being perceived as gay wouldn’t have required interpretation of a new point of law though. it’s uncontroversial that denying someone a service on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation (and in NI their political belief) results in civil liability. the cake makers could also have refused to make the cake on the basis that they really don’t like Bert and Ernie and claimed that it had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the person ordering it (harder to believe yes).
the difficulty I have with this decision (and I haven’t read it in detail, just skimmed the SC judgement), is in how it draws the nexus between ordering a cake with a pro-legalisation message and the sexuality of person ordering or ordering it. I think it understates the connection between the two.
would they have been allowed to refuse to make a cake for Black History Month? What if every baker decided to do the same?
The scenario of refusing to do one related to Black History Month occurred to me too. And I think in that situation the court would likely have come to a different decision. Which says it all. In N Ireland, being gay still means being second class.
He’s been utterly keepnetted there, and fairly so.
FTFY (sadly )
I’m a lawyer too. Just thought you were being snarky. This is not a straightforward case - or else it wouldn’t have suddenly thrown up a new result at this late stage. I’d doubt that the arguments had changed substantially over the course of the piece. Although it is interesting that it was a unanimous decision.
This verdict hangs on the specific facts of this specific case. The problem now is that the door has been opened for others to try and push back on anti-discrimination laws. I think the judgement may be particularly problematical because it seems to apply the right not to be forced to support something that is against your personal morality to a business and not to an individual. That seems a step too removed to me.
Yea I wasn’t being snarky. Just don’t know why people who don’t understand the legal arguments and aren’t personally affected by this form of discrimination think that it’s the right decision. They seem to be basing their support entirely on normative arguments about compelled expression (ie. You shouldn’t have to express your support for something that goes against your views) without being able to appreciate how that interacts with other rights, and what it means in the context of a provision of services. Even the cases cited in this judgement didn’t really relate to that - they were about e.g. having to swear a oath as part of a ceremony, a situation which has no material impact on the human rights of another party.
The case also reminds us of those times when human rights law can have a very individuating effect. The overall impact on LGBT people, our history, our ways of celebrating life is irrelevant in this decision.
As @DarwinBabe said above, its weid they explicitly said they wouldn’t make the cake because of its message. They could have avoided all this by saying they didn’t have time to fill the order or any other excuse. They went looking for a scrap, found one, and have the support of many people in NI (nearly everyone i talk to tbh)
Surely making up a pretext for not making the cake would imply that they felt some guilt about their actual reason for not making it. Guilt which clearly they didn’t feel.
Maybe not guilt, as such. More like not caring about the publicity and the hassle they will get. These are people who have an opinion and want everyone to know about it.
Yeah that’s fair enough.