Belfast Christian Bakers Lose ‘Gay Cake’ Appeal

The Belfast court found that Ashers Bakery directly discriminated against a customer when they refused to put 'support gay marriage' on his cake.

By Nancy Flory Published on October 25, 2016

The Christian bakers in Belfast, Ireland, who refused to make a cake with a pro-gay slogan lost their appeal Monday morning at the Belfast Royal Courts of Justice.

The lost appeal means that the original verdict of discrimination was upheld. The Ashers Bakery Company refused to make a cake with the slogan “support gay marriage.” The court ruled that this constituted “direct discrimination” because the bakery would not have objected to making a cake supporting heterosexual marriage, reported Christian Today.

The court believed that the word ‘gay’ in the context of the message contributed to the bakers’ refusal to make the cake.  In their ruling, the court said, “This was a case of association with the gay and bisexual community and the protected personal characteristic was the sexual orientation of that community.”

While the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland and the plaintiff Gareth Lee said outside the courtroom that the “freedom to express religious or political beliefs have to be balanced with laws to protect the most vulnerable,” Ashers’ general manager Daniel McArthur said, “This ruling undermines democratic freedom. It undermines religious freedom. It undermines free speech.”

McArthur said that he will take legal advice regarding whether to take the case to the Supreme Court of Ireland. The Christian Institute’s deputy director Simon Calvert has supported the McArthurs, and said he will work with them to determine what options remain. As far as the verdict on Monday, Calvert said, “Any company whose owners believe that their creative output says something about them and their values has been put at risk by this interpretation of the law.”

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