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Non Discrimination and the provision of services  [message #74972] Wed, 10 October 2018 21:01 Go to previous message

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13759

I'm very interested in the UK Supreme Court ruling in the UK Gay Cake Case. It is worth a read, perhaps in more detail than in this news article.
In the court's judgement (case reference [2018] UKSC 49), president of the Supreme Court Lady Hale ruled that the bakers did not refuse to fulfill the order because of his sexual orientation. "They would have refused to make such a cake for any customer, irrespective of their sexual orientation," she said.

"Their objection was to the message on the cake, not to the personal characteristics of Mr Lee."She added: "Accordingly, this court holds that there was no discrimination on the ground of the sexual orientation of Mr Lee."

This is an interesting distinction, and one that makes sense, as one would expect from the level of legal scrutiny. Equally, it is obvious that the outcome will be disliked.

It seems to me to be entirely reasonable that a baker may refuse to create a cake with a message on it that runs counter to their beliefs provided that they do not discriminate because the gentleman ordering it is gay.

If you need a clearer example of a cake where one might refuse a message, perhaps one that says "All [certain group of people] must die!" would be useful. No right minded person would be concerned if a baker refused to produce that item.

Similarly, if a gay gentleman ordered a cake that said "Happy Birthday" as the sole message and the bakery refused to do so because he is a gay gentleman, then any right minded person would say that the baker was in error, and has broken UK law.

Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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