Born-again Christian bakers who broke discrimination rules by refusing to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan have lost their appeal. Belfast-based Ashers told gay activist Gareth Lee they would not make the cake featuring Sesame Street puppets and the logo of campaign group Queerspace. The McArthur family, who own the business and had advertised their cake slogan service, first accepted payment for the order but later declined it. It conflicted with their beliefs that marriage should be between a man and a woman, they declared..
In a case taken by the Equality Commission, District Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that the bakery had broken sexual orientation and political discrimination law and ordered it to pay £500. But Ashers said it could not, in conscience, produce a cake that they felt would be sinful and had sought to overturn the judgment. They failed.
Though some might see this as an intrusion into the freedom of a business to opt out of serving specific customers, but it's important to appreciate local circumstances. The law was clear and it's good for the gay community in Northern Ireland that it was as they continue to face opposition within the legislature towards to gay marriage.
Outside court, Daniel McArthur,owner of the Ashers chain, said he was "extremely disappointed" by the ruling. "This ruling undermines democratic freedom, it undermines religious freedom and it undermines free speech."
At that point and wondering if there was anything that the cake didn't undermine, Lustralboy lost all sympathy for the Ashers and their unwillingness to bake a cake that they found 'sinful.' Not to so much a bake off, more a stand off!
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