‘Gay marriage cake’ controversy

Wed, Jul 16, 2014, 01:07

Sir, – Peter Dunne (July 12th) draws a comparison between the denial of service of African Americans in the southern states of the US in the 1960s and the Ashers bakery controversy. This analogy is incorrect. The customer was not denied service, nor was he denied it on the basis of his sexual orientation. There is no evidence that Ashers bakery was even aware of the customer’s sexual orientation. The bakery merely refused to write a political slogan that went against its beliefs and supports something which is contrary to the law of the land. I would suggest a more accurate analogy would be the refusal of a bakery in a loyalist area to provide a cake with the slogan “Tiocfaidh ár lá” for a nationalist customer. – Yours, etc,

MARIA

Mhic MHEANMAIN,

Glen Abhainn Park,

Enfield,

Co Meath.

Sir, – Contrary to Howard Hutchins’s assertion (July 12th), I would say that the cornerstone of our western society – and its ideals of democracy, freedom and equality – is the Enlightenment (beginning in late 17th-century Europe) rather than “Judeo-Christian culture”. – Yours, etc,

ADAM MURPHY,

Chapel Road,

Monivea,

Athenry,

Co Galway.

Sir, – For many observers, it is very easy to dismiss the gay cake controversy as a storm in a tea-cup, or – perhaps more appropriately – a crisis on a cupcake. However, discrimination is so insidious precisely because it often lurks in the most quotidian exchanges.

We have seen some fortifying stories reported in your newspaper in recent weeks, from Enda Kenny’s commitment to naming a referendum date on gay marriage, and the move to protect gay teachers.

But there is animus to be conquered. While there are several summer stories to rejoice in, this cake business is a reminder that, when it comes to discrimination against gay people, a chill wind often blows on this island. – Yours, etc,

Dr SEAN

ALEXANDER SMITH,

Chao do Loureiro,

Lisbon.

Sir, – Breda O’Brien describes Ernie and Bert as characters from The Muppet Show (“Bert and Ernie’s bromance offers a lesson in tolerance”, Opinion & Analysis, July 12th).

Ernie and Bert were created by Frank Oz and Jim Henson for Sesame Street not The Muppet Show. Since Henson also created The Muppet Show it’s easy to see how Breda got her strings crossed.

Like God, Henson loved all his children equally so probably would not be too upset.

There never was a specific Christian bakery on Sesame Street, which is just as well. One can just imagine Ernie and Bert discussing the missing ingredient in the so-called Christian cake. “Look Ernie, they forget to put in an ounce of love.” – Yours, etc,

SÉAMUS DOOLEY,

St Thomas Road,

The Tenters,

Dublin 8.