This takes the cake

COMPELLED SPEECH CAN NEVER BE FREE

Dear Marriage supporter

Right now five Supreme Court judges are considering whether the law allows one person to compel another to endorse same-sex ‘marriage’.

Ashers Baking Company is defending its decision not to produce a cake which has a message backing legalization of same-sex ‘marriage’ in Northern Ireland. The message may have been in icing but the principles are important just the same. It’s wrong to compel people to say things they don’t agree with. That’s why Peter Tatchell, the homosexual rights campaigner, backs the bakery in this case even though he disagrees with their views.

The courts have already accepted that the bakery didn’t know the sexual orientation of the customer, Mr Gareth Lee. That didn’t stop Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission pursuing Ashers through the courts.

In a sense everyone who disagrees with same-sex ‘marriage’ is also in Court today. It is not merely a ‘gay cake case’ as the media puts it. What is on trial is our whole society’s attitude to tolerance and the freedom to disagree.

Will Muslim bakers be compelled to bake a Charlie Hebdo cake which ridicules their faith? Will lesbian T-shirt makers have to produce T-shirts saying “gay marriage is an abomination”? Will Catholic printers have to print leaflets denouncing the Pope? Will feminist web designers have to produce websites which degrade women?

If Ashers loses, then everyone loses.

Leading activist says LGBT groups are going too far

The Ashers case shows how ‘equality’ is being used to silence anyone who disagrees – with devastating consequences for free speech.

Homosexual activist Andrew Sullivan’s book Virtually Normal is widely seen as spearheading the international campaign to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’. Now Sullivan says the attack tactics carried out by LGBT groups are backfiring with the public. In an article earlier this year, he argues that censorship by LGBT groups of traditional views on marriage and gender is going too far and is damaging support for homosexual rights in the USA.

New Home Secretary no friend of free speech

We need to be very vigilant on free speech, particularly so given that Sajid Javid is the new Home Secretary.

It was Mr Javid who backed the incredibly daft idea of stopping extremism by getting all politicians and public sector workers to swear an equality oath.

Thankfully the idea, first drawn up by former integration ‘tsar’ Dame Louise Casey, has now been dropped. But the fact that Mr Javid was “drawn” to her proposals (his word) shows a pretty poor understanding of free speech. This proposal would have turned the clock back 300 years to the dark days of the Test and Corporation Acts. A time when only card-carrying Anglicans could serve in public life.

Now he holds one of the great offices of state, and the one which will take the lead on ‘extremism’. We will be paying close attention to the words, and the deeds, of Mr Javid.

Yours sincerely

Colin Hart
Chairman
Coalition for Marriage (C4M)

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