23 hours ago
Court rules gay rights trump religious rights
While this case concerned the provision of goods and services, it is directly relevant to employment and employers should take note.
We hope that none of our readers will be faced with a dilemma of this type, but the issue is fairly important for all of us as a society and should be noted.
In this particular case, a gay rights group were holding a party and wanted a cake for that party. The buyer ordered the cake to be made with a slogan promoting gay marriage. What is fascinating is the decision to take the cake order to a bakery owned and run by a Christian who was known to have strong views against the idea of gay marriage.
The shop cancelled the order, and politely referred the gay rights group to other reputable bakeries in the area who did not hold strong religious beliefs on the subject.
The gay group then brought a complaint for direct discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.
The County Court has ruled that religious freedom does not trump gay rights, and found the bakers guilty of direct discrimination. Furthermore, the Court stated that there was no justification, and the directors were not allowed to rely on the exemption granted to religious organisations, because they were commercial bakery.
As a postscript, we venture the opinion that while no right minded person wants to see the persecution of any group in society, unless an amendment is made which allows people to passively follow their conscience, rights such as the ones contained in this legislation are going to lose credibility in the eyes of the public, and that cannot be in anyone’s interest.