Yossi Nehushtan and Stella Coyle: Ashers Baking (Part 2): Do Homophobes and Racists have a Right Not to Manifest Liberal Messages?

UK Constitutional Law Association

At the heart of the recent Supreme Court’s decision in Ashers Baking lies the ruling that nobody should be forced to express a view in which they do not believe. The unfortunate implications of this content-neutral reasoning go far beyond the circumstances of this case. This reasoning will result in vindicating behaviours that are founded on anti-liberal values, thus undermining core liberal values.

If courts follow this reasoning they will have to rule that a bakery, for example, does not have to provide customers cakes with icing that says either ‘homosexuality is a sin’ or ‘support gay marriage’ if these views run against the deeply held belief of the bakery’s owners.

In many aspects, the statement ‘homosexuality is a sin’ is not different from ‘support gay marriage’. Both statements are legal; both contradict deeply held beliefs of others; and both reflect deeply held beliefs – religious or others. And yet…

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