Bakery wins 'gay cake' court appeal

Sergio Conner
October 11, 2018

We believe that Ashers bakery should have accepted the Equality Commission's invitation to engage in mediation, where a remedy could have been found without the expense and division surrounding this court case.

Announcing the court's decision, its president, Lady Hale, said: "This conclusion is not in any way to diminish the need to protect gay people and people who support gay marriage from discrimination".

She said that freedom of expression includes the right to "not to express an opinion which one does not hold".

Owners Daniel and Amy McArthur, who have said the law risked "extinguishing" their consciences, will be in London for the court's judgment.

The Court of Appeal in Belfast upheld that decision in 2016.

"To me, this was never about a campaign or a statement". He has been with us during the challenges of the last four years. He is our rock and all His ways are just.

He continued, "We're delighted and relieved at today's ruling". "We always knew we hadn't done anything wrong in turning down this order", he added.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has said it is "disappointed" in the judgment given today by the Supreme Court.

The legal action was originally brought against family-run Ashers bakery in Belfast by gay rights activist Gareth Lee, who won his case initially in the county court and then at the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal. In fact it couldn't be clearer. But in a free society, people should be able to discriminate against ideas that they disagree with.

The judges, he said, found that the "objection was to the message and not to any particular person or persons".

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Speaking on behalf of The Christian Institute, Deputy Director (Public Affairs) Simon Calvert called the ruling "a total vindication of Ashers Baking Company and the McArthur family".

In 2014, the bakery refused to bake a cake embroidered with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage".

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, which backed Mr Lee, argued that the message on the cake was associated with his support for law reform.

The five judges ruled that the business relationship between the prospective buyer, Gareth Lee, and vendor, Ashers Baking, did not involve people being refused jobs or services due to their religious faith, political affliation or sexual orientation.

Hale explained that the law should not "compel" the bakers to violate their religious beliefs and endorse gay marriage.

The case revolved around a bakery in Belfast, Ireland, and the religious couple who owned it.

Larkin intervened in the case to present arguments on behalf of the Christian bakers. We will take time to review the judgement in detail.

"I want to start by thanking God". "We do not have the same rights in Northern Ireland as gay people as we do in the rest of the United Kingdom", he said.

She added: "I do not seek to minimise or disparage the very real problem of discrimination against gay people", saying everyone was "born free and equal in dignity and rights".

It is deeply humiliating, said the president of the UK Supreme Court, to deny someone a service due to their sexual orientation.

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