Victory for Christian Bakers in Gay Cake Row
The Supreme Court in the UK has ruled that the British bakers, the Ashers family, did not discriminate against a homosexual man who ordered a wedding cake with a message that promoted gay marriage.
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The case against the Ashers family was brought against them by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, who spent £250,000 supporting the persecution of the bakery. It will now have to pay costs in the case.
Lady Hale of the Supreme court said of the ruling: “This court has held that nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe.
“The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage, but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.”
John O’Doherty, a gay activist and director of Northern Ireland's Rainbow project said: “Ashers agreed to make the cake. They entered into a contractual agreement to make this cake and then changed their mind.
“We believe this is direct discrimination for which there can be no justification. We will however take time to study this judgment by the supreme court to understand fully its implications for the rights of LGBT people to access goods, facilities and services without discrimination.”
General manager of Ashers bakery, Daniel McArthur said he was delighted and relieved by the ruling.
Outside the court Mr McArthur said: "I know a lot of people will be glad to hear this ruling today, because this ruling protects freedom of speech and freedom of conscience for everyone."