Church and Society Commission Chair”s Comment on Equality Commission and Ashers Bakery

The following comment by the Revd Adrian Dorrian, Chairman of the Church and Society Commission, in response to the NI Equality Commission’s decision to pursue legal action against Ashers Baking Company for declining to produce a cake with a slogan supporting same sex marriage was provided to the Church of Ireland Gazette and published in this week’s edition:

‘Two key issues form part of the debate: discrimination and freedom of religious conscience. The Church of Ireland recognises and commends efforts to combat discrimination. In 2012, the General Synod affirmed ‘[a] continuing commitment to love our neighbour, and opposition to all unbiblical and uncharitable actions and attitudes in respect of human sexuality from whatever perspective.’ The Church is also currently actively engaged in constructive dialogue through its Select Committee on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief. What is not at all apparent in the Ashers case, however, is that there is a charge of discrimination to answer. It seems clear that the service was declined, not because of the sexual orientation of the customer but because of the particular political message requested upon the cake.

‘It is a serious concern that the freedom of religious conscience that the law affords …read more

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