Christian baker’s conscience stance on ‘gay cake’ raised

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has asked the Prime Minister if religious freedoms should be protected by the introduction of a conscience clause after a Newtownabbey-based bakery refused to promote ‘gay marriage’ by icing a cake.

Mr Campbell was speaking in the House of Commons after the Equality Commission wrote to Ashers Baking Co. because it had refused to ice a ‘Support Gay Marriage’ slogan over an image of the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie.

Gregory Campbell.

Gregory Campbell.

Mr Campbell said: “The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is threatening legal action against a family-owned bakery because it would not print a political message on a cake.

“The requested message was completely at variance with the company’s Christian values.”

He asked: “Does the Prime Minister agree that so-called equality is now being viewed by many as an oppressive threat to religious freedom, and that such freedoms should be protected by the introduction of a conscience clause?”

The Prime Minister David Cameron said he wasn’t aware of the specific case but replied: “I think that a commitment to equality - whether we are talking about racial equality, equality between those of different sexes, equality in terms of people who have disabilities, or, indeed, tolerance of and equality for people with different sexualities—is a very important part of being British.”