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Ashers should respect all rights

Published 03/04/2015

Lindy McDowell (April 1) is confused when she says, regarding the Ashers case, that people should not be forced to write or say things with which they disagree. This is not applicable here, as the bakery was not asked to make the statement themselves; as a business open to the general public, they were being asked to make it in a service provided on behalf of someone else.

In a democracy, newspapers and broadcasters are all bound to publicise opposing opinions, even if they are largely committed to one stance. The Belfast Telegraph itself, while clearly supporting Ashers, has also included some views on behalf of Graham Lee and the Equality Commission.

This respect for other people's freedom of expression is a political version of the Golden Rule, which as Christians the bakery owners should have upheld but didn't.

Brian McClinton

Director Humanist Association of NI

Belfast Telegraph

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