Saturday 10 December 2016

Miley Cyrus taunts politician as she weighs into gay marriage debate

Deborah McAleese

Published 06/04/2015 | 11:24

Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at the 2015 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in West Hollywood
Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at the 2015 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in West Hollywood

Miley Cyrus is the latest celebrity to weigh into the divisive dispute over religious freedom versus equality rights.

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It started with a row over a cake in Belfast - but now the debate is raging around the world.

Pop star Miley Cyrus, whose antics never fail to shock, took to Twitter to taunt a US Senator after he backed a controversial new law in the US state of Indiana, similar to the DUP's 'conscience clause' bill.

Critics of the recently amended law say it allows some businesses to discriminate against gays, lesbians and others who do not identify as heterosexual.

The Bangerz singer urged her fans to "stir some s*** up" and shared Tom Cotton's phone number on Twitter after the Republican defended the new religious freedom law, which was passed in Indiana last week.

She also fired off a string of tweets to her 19.3m followers criticising the law, which many believe prohibits gay rights.

Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at the 2015 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in West Hollywood
Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at the 2015 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in West Hollywood

"They are dinosaurs, and they are dying off. We are the new generation, and with that will come so much," Cyrus said later.

Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton also expressed her opposition to the law stating on Twitter: "Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn't discriminate against (people because) of who they love".

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus

The move in Indiana comes as Northern Ireland awaits a court ruling over whether Ashers Bakery in Belfast illegally discriminated against a gay activist when they refused to bake a cake promoting gay marriage because of their religious beliefs.

Gareth Lee, with the support of the Equality Commission, launched legal proceedings against the Christian run business when they refused to fulfil his cake order.

Mr Lee had placed an order for a cake with the slogan 'support gay marriage' and an image of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.

Ashers initially accepted the order, but contacted Mr Lee a few days later to say they could not fulfil it because it went against their religious beliefs.

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus

However, the McArthur family, who own Ashers, told the court that they did not discriminate against Mr Lee as it was the cake, and not him, that they had a problem with.

They said that to fulfil the order would have gone against their sincerely held religious views.

Due to the complex legal issues that arose during the case the judge has reserved judgment.

Whatever her ruling it is unlikely to be the end of the matter as the case has already ignited a political row.

The DUP has been attempting to introduce a conscience clause Bill, similar to the new law which was passed last week in Indiana. The Bill would give business owners the right to refuse service if it impinges on their sincerely held religious views.

The so-called conscience clause was introduced by Paul Givan MLA as a Private Member's Bill in December 2014 in response to the furore over the 'gay cake' row.

Mr Givan said the Equality Commission's legal action had "created a hierarchy of rights where all minorities are not to be treated equally".

"Gay rights, and the right to have those rights endorsed and promoted by everyone, is more important than the rights of Christians to live according to their conscience," he said.

Mr Givan added that the law had to be rebalanced.

"The dilemma facing people of faith is the choice of violating their sincerely held beliefs or going out of business," he said.

However, Sinn Fein has said the party would use a petition of concern to stop the Private Member's Bill in its tracks when it comes before the Assembly.

Belfast Telegraph

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