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What Ashers did is discrimination

Your editorial (March 23) turns freedom of conscience on its head in true Orwellian fashion.

You say that "every liberal-minded person should support the principle that people should not be forced by law into promoting a message with which they fundamentally disagree".

But this is precisely what a genuinely liberal-minded person would want to do - ensure that there is an open and free debate by protecting the right of an opponent to their view.

If you genuinely believe in freedom of speech, then you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like.

The logic of your argument is that a Nazi-owned establishment in 1930s' Germany would have been similarly justified in refusing to serve a Jewish "activist" who wanted a Star of David on a cake. This example pinpoints the fatal flaw that you are effectively arguing for state censorship of "undesirable opinions".

The Equality Commission should see Ashers' action for what it is, namely blatant discrimination disguised as something more noble.


Director, Humanist Association of Northern Ireland

Belfast Telegraph