Monday 20 February 2017

O'Doherty: Using a sledgehammer to smash a nutcase

Published 13/09/2015 | 02:30

Show-boating bigot: Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis
Show-boating bigot: Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis
Linkedin: Charlotte was contacted on the site

When is a prisoner of conscience an actual prisoner of conscience and not just, well, a bit of a cranky weirdo? When the strange story of Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences to gay people, first broke, it looked rather similar to the recent case involving Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland.

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In that instance, the insanity of identity politics took a sinister turn when the Christian owners refused to emblazon a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. They were prosecuted for discrimination and lost. They plan to appeal and I hope they win. After all, no private business should be compelled to endorse a message that they simply think is morally wrong.

So, having scored a rather Pyrrhic victory - for all their frenzied squeals of victimisation, the people who brought the case were the bullies in that instance - it then looked like the suffocating rainbow blanket had just claimed another victim in the shape of Davis.

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