UK supreme court backs bakery that refused to make gay marriage cake

A Belfast bakery run by evangelical Christians was not obliged to make a cake emblazoned with the message “support gay marriage”, the supreme court has ruled, overturning a £500 damages award imposed on it.

The unanimous decision by the UK’s highest court was greeted as a victory for free speech but condemned by gay rights groups and the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland as a backward step in combating discrimination.

Of all places, the UK.  And of all newspapers, the Guardian.

Freedom of expression, as guaranteed by article 10 of the European convention on human rights, includes the right “not to express an opinion which one does not hold”, [Justice and Supreme Court President Lady Brenda] Hale added. “This court has held that nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe,” she said.

“The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage, but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.”

How about that.  Note that this is pretty much the same conclusion the US Supreme Court reached in the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop decision.  It seems pretty cut and dried to me; the concept of free speech dictates that you can’t force me to agree with you, which extends to forcing me to produce something that makes it appear that I do agree with you.  Yet the dingbat who brought the case seems unable to process that simple concept:

After the ruling, Lee said: “I’m very confused about what this actually means. We need certainty when you go to a business. I’m concerned that this has implications for myself and for every single person.”

Well, if you really want certainty, businesses could go back to posting signs like “NO DOGS OR IRISH”, but that would be rude.  But what it means, Mr. Lee, is that you can’t walk into a business and expect that business to cheerfully create art for you that goes against their personal beliefs, regardless of whether or not you believe that should be the case.  Nobody went out and made you king of the world because you happen to be gay, just like nobody goes out and makes someone king of the world because they’re Christian, or female, or black or white or whatever.  And since you aren’t king of the world, you can fuck off; and you’ve now been told that by the highest court in the UK.  Do you really want to take it all the way to the EU?  Is it really worth it?  Think carefully before replying.

As in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, I’m going to guess that the folks at Ashers had no problem selling you anything pre-made out of their inventory — the only thing they refused to do was decorate a cake in a particular way that offended their beliefs.  And instead of politely declining their offer, and finding another cake shop that would do what you wanted, you got all huffy and filed suit.

One would almost think this was really a setup, just like the Masterpiece Cakeshop kerfuffle was.  Hasn’t anyone made it clear yet that the rest of the world is really sick and tired of this sort of confrontational bullshit?