Barometer

Cakes, the epicentre of gay rights

Plus: high pay on the railways, and where you can drink and drive

23 May 2015

9:00 AM

23 May 2015

9:00 AM

Cake discrimination

A bakery in Northern Ireland was found guilty of discriminating against a gay couple for whom it refused to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage. Cake-baking has become the epicentre of gay rights.
— In April a lesbian couple were awarded $135,000 in damages against Melissa’s Sweet Cakes, in Oregon, after shop owners refused to bake them a wedding cake.
— In a similar case, 111 Cakery, based in Indianapolis’s gay district, closed down after being attacked on social media for refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple.
— One cake that did get baked, however, was one commissioned by Republican senators in Texas in February to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Texas Marriage Amendment, which outlaws gay marriage.

On the right lines

A Network Rail signalman was revealed to have been paid £111,066 last year. Some more extravagant salaries on the railways:

Patrick Butcher, finance director, Network Rail £922,000
MD, Network Operations £880,000
Virgin West Coast train driver £55,389
London Underground driver £52,000

Brothers in arms


Which is bigger: Labour or the unions?

Union No. of members
Unite 1.31 million
Unison 1.27 million
GMB 617,064
USDAW 433,400
NUT 330,719

Source: TUC/House of Commons library

Death on the roads

The Police Federation called for the blood alcohol limit for driving in England and Wales to be reduced from 80 to 50 mg per 100ml, as it already is in Scotland. How do these limits compare internationally? (Road death rate per 100,000 in brackets)

Alcohol limit
Zero Hungary (10.4), Libya (25.4), Iran (43.8), Brazil (22.1)
20 mg/100ml Sweden (4.1), Poland (14.3), Colombia (18), Algeria (14.5), China (20.8)
30 mg/100ml India (20.8)
35 mg/100ml Russia (21.9)
40mg/100ml Mexico (13.9)
50mg/100ml Portugal (10), Netherlands (4.4), Italy (8.4), Germany (5.7), France (6.6), Spain (6.1), Argentina (12.2), Turkey (9)
80mg/100ml US (13.9), England and Wales (4.8), Venezuela (35.8), Zambia (37.9)
No limit Niger (14.9), Kenya (28.2)

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  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    Cake is the point above the centre of an earthquake, and gay rights is an earthquake? Don’t think so. Except when discussing seismology, to use ‘epicentre’ is to betray your ignorance.

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