UK: Christian Bakers Vindicated in 'Gay Cake' Case

Sky NEws

Sky NEws

In a high-profile case that lasted four years and cost United Kingdom taxpayers £150,000 ($197,316), the court ruled the Ashers bakery in Belfast had not acted in a discriminatory manner by refusing to make the cake with topping in support of same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court upheld the owners' appeal against a May decision that found them guilty of discriminating against gay rights activist Gareth Lee.

Daniel and Amy McArthur, who own Ashers in Belfast, arrive at the supreme court in London on Wednesday.

Lee ordered the cake in Belfast for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia. "But that is not what happened in this case", Lady Hale said.

The court also said Mr Lee had no claim against Ashers on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion.

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, a Stonewall spokesperson said: "The Supreme Court's decision that Ashers bakery were not discriminatory in the so-called "gay cake" row is very concerning for anyone who cares about equality".

Daniel McArthur said today that the ruling today would make many people happy because it protects freedom of speech and freedom of conscience for everyone.

"Let's put things in reverse, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a gay baker being forced by law to decorate a cake with a message against gay marriage", he said.

The ruling considered the claim of discrimination on three grounds-sexual orientation, political beliefs, and impact of European Convention of Human Rights-and found that the bakery was within its right to refuse Lee.

Mr Lee initially won his case in the county court and then at the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, but the McArthurs then challenged those rulings at a Supreme Court hearing in Belfast in May.

"The objection was not to Mr Lee because he, or anyone with whom he associated, held a political opinion supporting gay marriage", she said.

The judgment has set a precedent that one can refuse to promote a belief they do not hold as long as they are not doing it because of the person who asked them.

"I want to start by thanking God".

The Supreme Court's official press summary of the ruling states, "The rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to freedom of expression, were clearly engaged by this case".

"I'm concerned not just for the implications for myself and other gay people, but for every single one of us". They were supported by The Christian Institute charity, which has spent more than £200,000 on the case.

"This matter has also damaged community relations with vested interests attempting to portray it as a battle between those of faith versus those of differing sexual orientation".

In Northern Ireland, it can be illegal to discriminate against people due to their political opinions.

McArthur said he was delighted and relieved by the ruling, the BBC reported. It received backing from the Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland's largest support organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.