Ashers vs Goliath

I thank God that the five judges of the Supreme Court have ruled in favour of Ashers Bakery's freedom of opinion against the baying mob of the illiberal equalities industry. The Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, the over-funded quango which gladly uses taxpayers’ money to harass small businesses, put a begrudging acknowledgment of the Court’s ruling on its website yesterday:

This case was about Mr Lee being denied a service by the bakery, which he felt was discriminatory.

Why write this, when the highest court in the land has said Mr Lee’s interpretation was incorrect?

The Belfast County Court and the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal found that Mr Lee had been discriminated against on grounds of sexual orientation, political opinion and religious belief, in line with case law developed over the years.

This is irrelevant. A higher court has determined they were mistaken, and their judgments overruled. 

“The Supreme Court has overturned these findings and we will have to look at the implications of its judgment carefully.” Dr. Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said.

Good. Had they looked carefully the first time, they would have realised the bakers were doing nothing wrong. It was the cake’s message they were objecting to, not the customer. They’d served him before and would serve him again. Dr Wardlow’s consideration of the implications might extend to the viability of his own position. 

“There is a concern that this judgment may raise uncertainty about the application of equality law in the commercial sphere, both about what businesses can do and what customers may expect; and that the beliefs of business owners may take precedence over a customer’s equality rights, which in our view is contrary to what the legislature intended.”

Their prosecution of a small, family-run business caused the greatest uncertainty. This ruling by the highest court in the land makes our legal protections far clearer.

I have written to the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland calling upon its ‘Chief Commissioner’ to resign, in light of his organisation’s conduct.

Image by Midora from Pixabay