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Should firms wield the axe for a clear conscience?

A hypothetical: I own a bakery business and, in addition to my successful range of breads, pastry and related products, I offer two further services: to decorate cakes to a customer's specification and a very high-tech app which provides for a customer to "Design-a-Cake" to his/her own desired specification.

Recently, I had a very unusual occurrence: three Christian groups separately placed orders for a decorated cake.

One wanted "Support freedom to discriminate" on their cake, another "Support women bishops" and the third "Support priestly celibacy".

Being a committed atheist, it was against my conscience to decorate any of the three cakes.

But the advice I have received is that, in matters of employment and/or provision of services, no one can be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, marital status, gender orientation or religious/political belief; so, if I am not willing to provide my cake-decorating service to all, then I should stop offering to decorate cakes.

But, separately, I am also told that committed Christian retailers do not offer the National Lottery in their premises. Likewise, those who believe gambling and drinking alcohol is wrong, avoid employment in, or ownership of, those businesses.

The cake-decoration part of my business is tiny in terms of volume, turnover and profitability and it would not be missed.

I could continue baking my other products; I might make (slightly) less money, but I would have a clear conscience and I would be able to continue as a valued business.

Can anyone see anything wrong in this suggestion?

READER

Co Londonderry

Belfast Telegraph

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