Bakery in ‘gay cake’ row win Supreme Court Appeal
The Christian owners of Ashers, a Northern Irish bakery, who refused to bake a cake containing a message supporting gay marriage, have won their appeal at the Supreme Court.
In 2014 Mr Lee, a gay rights activist, brought legal action against Ashers after they refused to bake a cake decorated with the words “Support Gay Marriage”. Mrs McArthur, the owner of Ashers, initially took the order for the cake but later advised Mr Lee that she could not in conscience produce such a cake and gave him a refund.
The cake was subsequently made by a different bakery.
Mr Lee, proceeded to sue Ashers for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and belief and won his case in the county court and then at the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.
However, on Wednesday 10th October 2018, Five Supreme Court justices allowed a challenge by Ashers in a unanimous ruling in London.
Lady Hale, the president of the Supreme Court, has ruled that the bakers did not refuse to fulfil Mr Lee’s order because of his sexual orientation.
Announcing the court’s decision, 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.”
“It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. But that is not what happened in this case.”
Lady Hale went on to say: “As to Mr Lee’s claim based on sexual discrimination, the bakers did not refuse to fulfil his order because of his sexual orientation.”
“They would have refused to make such a cake for any customer, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”
Full details of the case can be found here
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