Northern Irish bakers win landmark ‘gay cake’ case
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 10/10/18, 11:41 am
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on Wednesday ruled that a Northern Ireland bakery operated by Christians did not discriminate when it refused to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage. In 2014, Ashers Baking Company declined to make a cake for gay rights activists decorated with Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and the phrase “Support Gay Marriage.” A five-judge panel of the U.K.’s highest court unanimously overturned a lower court ruling and decided the owners should not be forced to put a message on their products at odds with their faith. “In a nutshell, the objection was to the message and not to any particular person or persons,” Judge Brenda Hale wrote in the decision, adding it is an affront to human dignity to deny someone service based on their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or other protected personal characteristics, “But that is not what happened in this case.”
“I want to start by thanking God,” Ashers’ general manager Daniel McArthur said after the ruling. “He has been with us during the challenges of the last four years.” McArthur noted his family was “particularly pleased the Supreme Court emphatically accepted what we’ve said all along—we did not turn down this order because of the person who made it, but because of the message itself.”
The plaintiffs have not yet said if they plan to appeal the ruling to the European Court of Human Rights.
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Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.