Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Completely inconsistent rulings on Christians and homophobes.

Case 1, bakery found to have broken anti-discrimination laws by refusing to bake a gay wedding cake.

Case 2, employee sacked for homophobic remarks wins unfair dismissal case.

IMHO both were 'wrongly' decided. If a business refuses to provide certain goods or services, so be it, the consumer can go elsewhere. And if an employee makes life unpleasant for other employees (which I don't think she did, she just spouted normal Bible stuff), then the employer should be able to sack him or her.

But put the two cases together into the following scenario, and what do you get..?

An open-minded bakery company, as a matter of company policy, is quite happy to make gay cakes. But when a gay man goes to order one, a homophobic employee flatly refuses to make it.

Can the employee be sacked? Case 2 tells us no, provided he can persuade the Employment Tribunal that he acted that way because of 'religious belief' rather just being a bigot.

But can the jilted customer then sue the bakery for discrimination? Case 1 says yes, but if there were any consistency, then the answer would be no.

Or to sum up, if it's your own business, you are bound by anti-discrimination laws, but employees can do what they like.

11 comments:

Random said...

"Or to sum up, if it's your own business, you are bound by anti-discrimination laws, but employees can do what they like."
What if you are self employed?

The Stigler said...

To be fair, in the 2nd case it's not like she was walking around the office shouting "damn you sodomite, you will sit with Satan". She was asked about whether she'd be welcomed in church and the woman gave the answer from the Christian perspective.

That said, the 1st case is completely wrong and was clearly just a setup. If they were real buyers they'd have just left the shop and gone elsewhere.

Kj said...

As for case #1, I thought it looked awfully lot like the american case concerning a gay wedding cake, alluding to being an activist copycat-thing.

James Higham said...

Stigler's right here.

Random said...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/10/make-allowances-for-immigrants-who-slap-their-children-says-high-court-judge
Why "immigrants"? Laws that only apply to some people create division.

Mark Wadsworth said...

R, good question but self employed will count as "own business" so are governed by Case 1.

TS, from the limited report, no, the employee appears to have been a bit or a bore and a prude but nothing terrible.

TS, Kj, was Case 1 a set-up? Probably.

JH, ta.

R, if the facts are as reported, then that is a bit of a bloody outrage. The words "deport them if they can't behave" spring to mind.

L fairfax said...

I agree with Stigler.

Lola said...

It's all bonkers. 'Discrimination' is a 'thought crime' , and we all know how that ended the last time someone got into a position of authority and started chucking his weight about. In the case of the business owner it is a straightforward assault on private property rights. You have an absolute and inalienable right as a business owner to choose with whom you want to do business. End of.

mombers said...

@Lola - at the extreme, would you really accept the return of signs in businesses saying

'No Blacks
No Dogs
No Irish'

I do think that the first case is somewhat ridiculous - the owner is objecting to what the item says, not who the buyer is. They are being co-opted into speech, which they can refuse to do IMHO, even if they look like sad twats.

The employment tribunal one is a big mistake I think. It's a lot easier to keep your belief in an imaginary fried to yourself than to pretend that you're straight, so I'm on the side of the homosexual on that one

Robin Smith said...

I agree.

But you miss the essential. All enterprise is social enterprise today. There is no free market. All business must provide state services and protection else be denied the right to trade.

I'm deadly serious

Robin Smith said...

I agree.

But you miss the essential. All enterprise is social enterprise today. There is no free market. All business must provide state services and protection else be denied the right to trade.

I'm deadly serious