NORTHERN IRELAND: Anti-Gay Bakers Lose Appeal

The BBC reports:

The Christian owners of a Northern Ireland bakery have lost their appeal against a ruling that their refusal to make a “gay cake” was discriminatory. Appeal court judges said that, under law, the bakers were not allowed to provide a service only to people who agreed with their religious beliefs.

Two years ago, the family-run firm refused to make a cake saying: “Support Gay Marriage”. It had been ordered by gay rights activist Gareth Lee.

The firm argued that the cake’s message was against the bakers’ religious views. Reacting to the ruling, Daniel McArthur from Ashers said he was “extremely disappointed”. He said it undermined “democratic freedom, religious freedom and free speech”.

“If equality law means people can be punished for politely refusing to support other people’s causes then equality law needs to change,” he said. “We had served Mr Lee before and we would be happy to serve him again.

“The judges accepted that we did not know that Mr Lee was gay and that he was not the reason we declined the order. We have always said it was not about the customer, it was about the message.”

(Tipped by JMG reader Jerry)