Gay cakes and women drivers

November 24, 2016 23:06

In Northern Ireland, a Christian-run bakery is appealing against a ruling that it broke the law when it refused an order to make a cake celebrating gay marriage.

It’s a case that tests the balance between equality and religious freedom.

A similar clash of principles is at stake in the story we have covered this week about a Charedi group in Stamford Hill saying that children will not be able to attend its schools if their mothers drive.

I don’t know if such a policy would fall foul of equality law – but even if in theory, legal action were possible, it is highly unlikely that any Chasidic family would take its rabbis to court.

In a statement newly released to clarify its position, a representative of the Belz group says, “It is a fact that most women in our community do not drive cars. It is equally true that a fair number of women do drive cars openly and entirely unhindered. They and their families are as respected within our community as any other members and we have no intention of changing that.”

The statement falls short of explicitly saying that there now will be no ban on the children of driving mothers – but that might be its implication, for you cannot claim that people are respected and allowed to go around unhindered if their children are not allowed to go to your schools.

November 24, 2016 23:06

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