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A former Tory minister has said that in a “true democracy” people shouldn’t be forced to uphold something they don’t believe in, following news that a Christian bakery is facing legal action for refusing to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake.
Writing in the Daily Express, Ann Widdecombe said it “never occurred” to her that a baker might be at risk of not being able to operate if they have a conscientious objection to redefining marriage.
“If the baker had refused merely to bake a cake because the customer was gay then that would indeed have been both unpleasant and illegal but the refusal was specific to the message requested for the cake.
“Surely it is an elementary feature of true democracy that nobody should be obliged by law to affirm that which he or she does not believe”, she added.
Widdecombe highlighted the repeated reassurances given to Parliament that introducing gay marriage “would not cause discrimination against those who believed it wrong”.
“What price your assurances now, Mr Cameron?” she poses.
Marriage has not been redefined in Northern Ireland – the Assembly has voted three times in less than two years against same-sex marriage.
Widdecombe said: “In a free country the baker should be able to refuse to take part in what is effectively PR for gay marriage in the knowledge that any customers who do not like that decision are free to buy their morning loaf elsewhere.
“But then it is a long time since Britain and freedom were synonymous”, she concluded.
Ashers Baking Company in Northern Ireland hit the headlines this week after its Christian owners, the McArthur family, declined to produce a cake in support of gay marriage.
The manager of the business, Daniel McArthur, said they are happy to bake cakes for anyone, but could not fulfil that particular order as it clashed with the ethos of the business.
He said: “We are Christians and our Christianity reaches to every point of our lives, whether that’s at home or in the day-to-day running of the business.”
UPDATE: Nurse Fired for Refusing to Participate in Abortions Files Lawsuit Against the Swedish Government
Ellinor Grimmark who was not only fired from her position as a midwife for asking not to have to perform abortions because of her belief that human life begins from conception, but who was offered her position back under the condition that she agree to psychological counseling to coerce her into accepting abortion as a “right.”
Alliance Defending Freedom has assisted Mrs. Grimmark’s legal team in Sweden in defending her right of conscience in one of the very few nations in Europe without explicit protection in such employment settings. As Mrs. Grimmark has noted, she became a midwife because she loves children; she wants to bring them into the world rather than prevent them from entering the world. source
“In my contact with my employer or a prospective employer, I have talked very carefully about my inability to perform abortions based on my Christian faith, my sincere religious conviction.
Jönköping County Council’s decisions constitute an interference with the exercise of Mrs. Ellinor Grimmarks right to freedom of conscience and religion under the European Convention on Human Rights, says Ruth Nordstrom, Legal Counsel and President of Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers. – The County Council has supported the withdrawals of offered job positions as a midwife at three different hospitals, and set up an obligation to perform abortions as a condition for employment as a midwife. This is a requirement that puts persons of a certain religion or other beliefs in a discriminatory position. Read Full Article Here