In stark contrast to last week’s positive marriage-equality news in Ireland, a chain of bakeries in Northern Ireland has decided to fight on with an appeal to last week’s court’s ruling that Ashers Bakery unlawfully discriminated against a gay man.
The bakery refused to bake a cake featuring the pro-equality message: “support gay marriage.” One of Ashers Bakery’s owners and founders, Karen MacAruthur, claims to have only taken the order (from Mr. Lee) to avoid embarrassment —knowing all along that the order would not be filled. The Northern Ireland Equality Commission brought the case against Ashers on behalf of Lee.
“This is direct discriminaton,” wrote Judge Isobel Brownlie in her ruling, “for which there is no justification.”
Hatred Has No Boundaries
There is every likelihood that if a person has the capacity to “hate” then that hatred often overflows into other areas. I have read many right-wing comments in American internet sites. I have noticed names – one week it will be hatred towards LGBT persons – the next week against Jews, Blacks, immigrants, political figures. Now, I mean “hate” and not just criticism.
History of Religious Violence: This hatred has occurred over centuries when James I of England in 1603 planted thousands of people into Northern Ireland from Scotland and England, hoping they would be obedient to him and to his government. The aim was for these Protestants to subdue the Irish Catholics. The Catholics were kicked off their land and the new invaders took over. Catholics could not own land or vote while Protestants could have these two rights.
King William (Protestant) battles King James (Catholic)
In 1690 two foreign monarchs fought on Irish soil to gain access to the kingdom of Great Britain. The battle took place near the Irish town of Drogheda at the River called the Boyne.
Protestant King William of Holland (House of Orange) won and left the Irish fighting amongst themselves ever since. This victory is celebrated to this day by the Orange Lodge of Northern Ireland. The marches occur on July 12th every year. This antagonizes Catholics as it reminds them of their defeat by the Protestants in 1690. Clashes still occur as the Orange Lodge tries to march down predominantly Catholic neighbourhoods.
The Violent Classes Between IRA and UDA Forces.
In the 1970s, England sent in forces to separate the hatred between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Cities were ablaze and murders and retaliatory murders were carried out by the IRA (Catholic supporters) and the Ulster Defense Association (Protestant supporters).
The British government set up a Royal Commission to investigate Protestant discrimation. They found it. For example, not one Catholic was in the police force. Catholics were discriminated in jobs and housing.
A New Kind of Hatred
Gone is most of the discrimination against Catholics due to Human Rights Commissions and a changed system of law. However, right-wing Protestant bigots have found a new enemy – the LGBT community. Now, these bigots are extending a hand to the Roman Catholic church in an attempt to combine forces to fight a common enemy – the LGBT community.
Don’t for a moment think that these religious bodies love or like one another – old hatreds run deep. For the right-wing Protestants – the Vatican is an anti-Christ establishment. The Orange Marches on July 12th have anti-Catholic banners and songs, and they try to disrupt the peace by marching in Catholic areas of large cities. However, they will unite to hate their LGBT neighbour.