Christians being punished for following their faith
I've read many comments supporting the rights of gay and lesbian people in the Ashers Bakery row. But gays and lesbians are not the only ones with rights. Christians and people of other religious faiths have rights too, including that of belonging to a religious faith, following its teachings and outwardly expressing those.
I've grown up with the concept of every single human being having the equal rights, regardless of race, colour, creed, gender or sexuality, and I'm committed to respecting the human rights of all people whether I agree with what they say, do or believe.
So, it pains me to see how the law is being used to punish and silence people whose religious beliefs or personal opinions do not support a homosexual way of life.
We all have the right to freedom of speech, yet if we exercise these rights and behave according to the teachings of our faith, we get punished for it. Therefore, I support the motion being brought by a DUP MLA to introduce a clause for conscience in equality laws. If this measure is the only way to ensure parity of rights for all, then it gets my vote. If doctors and nurses can object to participating in an abortion on the grounds of conscience, the same can be applied elsewhere.
The Christians in Ashers Bakery were being asked to do something that put them in conflict with their religious beliefs. Everyone has the right to say no to something which we feel uncomfortable with. So why is it deemed to be acceptable to use the Equality Commission to force people into a course of action they are uncomfortable with?