Gay cake row: why minority views matter

I have not always been grateful to Peter Tatchell for everything he has said and done. However, I am deeply grateful for his fresh comments (Opinion, 1 February) on the Ashers Bakery case.


I grew up in an evangelical home in Northern Ireland where both the Bible and the Manchester Guardian were read daily. While still at school, influenced by both, I was uneasy when a majority in a general election was regarded by Stormont as an adequate mandate for the NI government to legislate without sufficient regard to dissident Catholic and nationalist sensitivities.


Since then the late Lord Hailsham has helpfully warned the UK against tendencies to elective dictatorship. In a healthy democracy, both genuine human rights and the right to express dissident minority opinions should be treasured.


It would be totally unacceptable were the bakery to refuse to sell cakes to gay customers, but they should not be forced by law to promote views about marriage with which they deeply disagree.


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