Time and time again, a comparison is being drawn between those who oppose same-sex marriage and those who opposed the African-American Civil Rights movement. A letter from Maria Mhic Mheanmain in today's Irish Times provides a much better counter-comparison.
Arguments of the form that X (which is controversial) is just like Y (which is universally condemned) are rarely sound. Any two situations are generally very different.
Sir, – Peter Dunne (July 12th) draws a comparison between the denial of service of African Americans in the southern states of the US in the 1960s and the Ashers bakery controversy. This analogy is incorrect. The customer was not denied service, nor was he denied it on the basis of his sexual orientation. There is no evidence that Ashers bakery was even aware of the customer’s sexual orientation. The bakery merely refused to write a political slogan that went against its beliefs and supports something which is contrary to the law of the land. I would suggest a more accurate analogy would be the refusal of a bakery in a loyalist area to provide a cake with the slogan “Tiocfaidh ár lá” for a nationalist customer. – Yours, etc,
Glen Abhainn Park,
(Another letter on the same page mocks Breda O'Brien for calling Bert and Ernie Muppets. I never really watched either Sesame Street or The Muppet Show, but it only took about two seconds' research on the internet to find out that Muppets appeared on both shows. I would feel embarrassed for the writer if the tone of the letter was not so smug and patronising.)