MP calls for a ‘conscience clause’ to protect baker which refused ‘support gay marriage’ cake
An MP has called for a “conscience clause” to be introduced to allow religious business owners to discriminate based on their opposition to issues like same-sex marriage.
Asher’s Baking Company, a Christian-owned bakery in Northern Ireland, refused the request of a gay rights activist for a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’, above an image of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.
The Equality Commission has since stated that this act broke anti-discrimination laws.
The Newtonabbey Times reports that North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has called for a clause to be introduced to protect businesses like Asher’s from cases such as this.
He said: “The case reopens the debate about how exactly religious belief is respected within the United Kingdom and the need for someone’s conscience to be protected whilst ensuring that discrimination does not occur.”
In defending the bakery’s refusal to provide the cake, a manager compared supporting same-sex marriage with making a cake with pornographic images on it.