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The Law is Equal for All

Law equality and the Gay Cake Case

Missing a slice of cake

This article is a concise and accurate report on the law surrounding the case known as the ‘Gay Cake’ case.  It wasn’t prosecutorial zeal which led to the court case, it was a company which failed understand the basic tenets of law and in particular contract law.

The court case was not brought by Gareth Lee, all he wanted was a cake, the case was taken up by the Equality Commission as it believed that the baker had broken the law. Subsequently, this has been proved correct by the original judgement and the Appeal Court.

No one is above the law, if we are to be a fair and equitable society we must ‘ALL’ comply with and live by the law.  If we don’t like a law, then we have legal remedies, and in the final resort, we can challenge the government.

 

Less prosecutorial zeal may be the easiest way to address such issues

Source: The great Belfast bake-off: Asher’s ‘gay cake’ decision

Equality, not when you have a Petition of Concern

Marriage EqualityI have written previously on First Minister Foster’s inability to move with what the voters have clearly indicated on; it would seem that the DUP remain blinkered to where we are as a society in regards to marriage equality, and if they are so inclined with this minority how are they with others?

I call yet again on the First Minister to stop using the petition of concern to hide behind.  This instrument is long overdue to be removed from civilised politics on both sides, to allow proper politics to move forward along with the country.

I refer the Fist Minister to a report by the BBC in July 2013 which would seem to suggest that Petitions of Concern were being abused by both main political parties, and that the 1998 Act section governing their use was not clear enough and that Petitions of Concern need to review.

The SDLP leader, Mr Durkan,  at that time said:-“I have made the point several times before and do so again that the standing orders need to be corrected in accordance with the agreement and the 1998 Act.

“The argument can also be made, and I made it at the time, that the 1998 Act could have been more explicit in providing for the procedure intended.”

Petitions of concern: Is Stormont’s safeguard system being abused?

Equality

These figures outline the number of times each party has had members sign a petition of concern. As some documents were signed by more than one party, there will be some overlap which is why the total number of petitions in this table amount to more than the total number tabled during the last mandate.

Stormont’s petition of concern used 115 times in five years

Call her Kim Jong Foster, she prefers dictatorship to democracy.

Source: Anti-gay crusade of Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister

Equality in Marriage Blocked Again

Government is put in place to govern, that we can all accept.  However it is supposedly done on the basis of consent and democracy.  Government is supposed to listen to the electorate (not just at ballot and election time) but throughout the duration of its time in office!  In consequence, I would draw First Minister Arlene Foster’s attention to the Mori poll published in the Belfast Telegraph in June of this year,  which shows that 70% of the electorate agrees with gay marriage. (Survey shows 70% support for same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland) – this poll clearly  indicates that the electorate has moved on, and that gay marriage is acceptable.  How much longer will the DUP continue to bury not just its head, but its whole body in the sand about what is a right – this is about equality and fairness.  Dave McFarlane, Community JournalistEquality for all

Attempts to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland are set to be thwarted for at least another five years after the Democratic Unionists insisted they would continue to block a

Source: First Minister Arlene Foster vows to continue blocking attempts to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Chinese Court Takes Historic Step Toward Advancing Same-Sex Marriage

|With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in June, more than 20 countries across the Americas, Europe, and Africa now recognize unions between two men or two women. Yet not a single Asian nation has joined them. That may be about to change.

Movement within China’s court system indicates that the world’s most populous country could be the first in Asia to join the ranks.
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A Chinese court has agreed to hear a case that could grant a same-sex couple the right to marry, Reuters reports.

Sun Wenlin, a 26-year-old gay man hoping to marry his partner, filed a complaint against the Changsha Furong District Civil Affairs Bureau, which denied his request to register the marriage, in Hunan province in December. Sun told Reuters that a local court agreed on Tuesday to hear his case.

Whether the court sides in Sun’s favor, even the decision to hear the case is a step toward LGBT equality.
Related
These Same-Sex Couples Couldn’t Get Married in China, So They Came to America

“In China, courts often reject politically sensitive cases, so the fact that the lawsuit is accepted signals some official willingness to address discrimination against LGBT people, which is encouraging,” Maya Wang, a China researcher at Human Rights Watch, told Reuters. “But we will need to see if they actually win the case. If they do, it’d be a truly watershed moment for LGBT rights in China.”

China decriminalized homosexuality in the late 1990s and took it off the list of official mental disorders in 2001. Since then, the unofficial attitude toward homosexuality is what’s known as “the three nots” approach: “not encouraging, not discouraging, and not promoting.”

Sun states that after he filed the complaint, police attempted to investigate his home and approached family members. He told the Global Times that the police officers who came to his home emphasized the importance of having a child and carrying on the family name, reflecting the nation’s more traditional values. LGBT people living in China are banned from adopting a child and are not protected under antidiscrimination laws, according to international organization Out Right.

Sun is confident in his case, telling Reuters that China’s marriage law “says there is the freedom to marry and gender equality.” He also notes that national laws describe marriage as being between a “husband and a wife” rather than a “man and woman,” and that such labels could be applied to homosexual couples.

This article was originally published on TakePart.

Equality is for Everyone

Editorial:  The difficulty when you review articles at any time, is to have balance.  It becomes even more of a problem when you are based in Northern Ireland and you are looking at an article which relates to an election issue in Souther Ireland but is of interest to readers who will be voting in Northern Ireland.  In this case I refer to an article entitled

New effort to turn Irish gays into “untouchable unmarried eunuchs”

written by  and published in Irish Central.  The article is about the ‘no campaginers’ current campaign on marriage equality and why it is against children if you vote ‘yes’.

Just after reading this article I then was referred to Ms Susan-Anne White stance on the LGBT community, which we have already comment on.

The subject of equality is being lost in the rhetoric, equality means:

the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities

Rosie Winterton wrote, “Everyone has a stake in creating a fair society because fairness is the foundation for individual rights, a prosperous economy and a peaceful society. Fairness and equality are the hallmarks of a modern and confident society. ”

We urge you to think carefully before you vote, to check your candidates history in relation to LGBT topics, and also the candidates party.

Remember your vote, along with everyone else who votes, will put the politicians who will run our country and also our institutions into power for five years.

Further Reading:

Ireland sets a date for gay marriage vote

Over two thirds of Irish people support same-sex marriage

Gay marriage vote set for Republic of Ireland.

Ireland has set a month for a referendum on marriage equality.

Groups both for and against same-sex marriage will rally as they prepare for the public vote in early May 2015. No specific date has been announced as of yet.

The issue was discussed today by Ministers at their final meeting before Christmas.

It comes as Scottish gay couples are finally able to get married today, following England and Wales earlier this year. There are currently no plans for Northern Ireland to pass same-sex marriage.

Independent Senator Katherine Zappone is campaigning to marry her partner Ann Louise Gilligan.

‘Confirmation that the referendum on same sex marriage is set to go ahead will be welcomed by all who have campaigned to bring us to this point,’ she said.

‘While it is right that we should acknowledge the importance of the cabinet decision and the hope it offers those in love and seeking love, we should also be mindful that there remains some distance to go.

‘The next stage is to see the wording of the proposal which will be put before people, as a public representative and social justice campaigner I will be working to ensure that it is clear, straightforward and fair.

‘Engagement with young voters is also key and I want to see the Government outline its plans to get them to use their right to vote and make history in 2015.’

She continued: ‘As we head to the New Year I would ask all who intend to get involved in this campaign to ensure that the public debate is conducted in a fair and open way with the language of respect rather than confrontation and division.

‘I look forward to 2015 with hope that when presented with the proposal in a proper manner that the Irish people will see what is just and right and vote accordingly.’

Support for same-sex marriage has been steadily growing over the last few months. In the last Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll, it found 71% supported marriage equality in Ireland

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/ireland-sets-date-gay-marriage-vote161214#sthash.cxiCFqIY.dpuf