Gay cake row

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Otto Inglis’s letter (22 May) about the “gay cake” case misses the point entirely.

When I send my friend a birthday card, it is not the card manufacturer who is wishing my friend happy birthday, but I myself.

No-one is saying to the owners of Ashers bakery that they cannot personally promote what they themselves believe in, as much as anyone else can.

But when running a commercial business, which in this case involves placing other people’s messages on cakes that those other people have bought for their own use, Ashers must do it an way that does not discriminate.

There is no hierarchy placing sexual orientation equality above religious equality.

Religious discrimination is equally unlawful – a Protestant- owned bakery cannot for example refuse a customer’s request to place an image of a saint on a cake on the ground that the bakery owner disagrees with that element of Catholicism.

As for the argument that the buyers of the cake should just have gone to another baker, does Mr Inglis think a satisfactory response to the “No blacks, No Irish” signs in pubs 50 years ago is to say that black and Irish people should just put up with it and go to another pub?

No – we ban such discrimination because it is unfair, creates second-class citizens, and divides society.

Tim Hopkins

Equality Network

Bernard Street

Edinburgh