“Gay cake” rul­ing

The Week Middle East - - News -

A Belfast bak­ery found guilty of dis­crim­i­na­tion for re­fus­ing to make a cake with a pro­gay mar­riage slo­gan has lost its ap­peal. Last year, a court found that Ash­ers Bak­ery’s re­fusal to bake a cake iced with the slo­gan “Sup­port Gay Mar­riage” amounted to dis­crim­i­na­tion on grounds of sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. The bak­ery own­ers ap­pealed, ar­gu­ing that the slo­gan went against their Chris­tian be­liefs. But this week, the Court of Ap­peal re­jected this, on the grounds that writ­ing it on a cake did not equate to en­dors­ing gay mar­riage. Gay rights ac­tivist Peter Tatchell was among those who con­demned the ver­dict as a re­stric­tion on free speech.

Nui­sance-call crack­down

Nui­sance callers could be fined up to £1m, as part of a new crack­down. Firms can al­ready be fined up to £500,000 for breach­ing rules on un­so­licited calls – which ac­count for 40% of all calls in the UK – but many avoid pay­ing by declar­ing bank­ruptcy, then re­open with a new name. Un­der rules due to come into ef­fect next spring, direc­tors could be per­son­ally fined an ad­di­tional sum of up to £500,000. Nui­sance callers will also have to dis­play their caller ID.

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