North Ireland Bakers Fined for Declining ‘Support Gay Marriage’ Cake to Appeal to UK Supreme Court

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — The Christian owners of a bakery in Northern Ireland state that they plan to appeal to the U.K. Supreme Court a lower court ruling declaring them guilty of discrimination for declining to print the phrase “Support Gay Marriage” on a cake.

“The Ashers Baking Company has confirmed that it plans to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court over the gay cake case,” the Christian Institute states, noting that paperwork will be filed next month.

Attorneys for the Asher family, as well as the attorney general for Northern Ireland, had asked the court for leave to appeal. While Attorney General John Larkin was denied referral rights, the family was allowed to file.

“Earlier this week the Attorney General of Northern Ireland was refused the right to refer the devolution issues in the case to the Supreme Court,” the Christian Institute outlines. “Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan left the way open for the firm to take the matter further when he stated: ‘We refuse leave to appeal; we consider the matter should be properly left to the Supreme Court.'”

As previously reported, in May 2014, Ashers Baking Company in Newtonabbey—named after Genesis 49:20—was approached by a same-sex “marriage” supporter to bake a cake that was to feature the phrase, as well as the logo for the homosexual advocacy group QueerSpace. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the cake was for an event in observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Karen McArthur, the mother of manager Daniel McArthur, then 24, initially accepted the order as she didn’t want the man to feel embarrassed. But as the matter was discussed with other family members, it was agreed upon that they could not go through with putting the message on the cake in good conscience before God.

Daniel McArthur told reporters that the company contacted the customer and offered a refund, explaining that same-sex “marriage” is against their Christian beliefs.

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However, the customer, Gareth Lee, soon reported Ashers Baking Company to the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, which in turn sent a warning to to McArthur, stating that he and his bakery had discriminated against Lee.

In November 2015, the Commission ordered the bakery to pay compensation or face legal action. As the McArthur’s refused, the case moved forward in court. Judge Isobel Brownlie then ruled against the McArthurs, declaring them “guilty of unlawful discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation,” and ordered the bakers to pay a fine equating to nearly $800 U.S. dollars.

“This is direct discrimination for which there can be no justification,” Brownlie said. “The defendants are not a religious organization. They are conducting a business for profit and, notwithstanding their genuine religious beliefs, there are no exceptions available under the 2006 regulations which apply to this case.”

Asher’s Bakery has stated that it is willing to serve homosexuals in general—one would not know about another’s sexual behavior unless they had requested a cake for such reasons—but should not be forced to decorate cakes with messages that urge others to “support gay marriage” in violation of their faith.

“This has never been about the customer. It has been about a message promoting a cause that contradicts the Bible,” McArthur said.

The McArthur’s therefore appealed the ruling last June, and the case went back to court. In October, the Belfast Court of Appeals concluded that although it is true that the McArthurs did not know Lee’s identity, the bakery still “discriminated against the respondent directly on the grounds of sexual orientation contrary to the Equality Act Regulations 2006″ for not printing the requested message.

“In the present case the appellants might elect not to provide a service that involves any religious or political message. What they may not do is provide a service that only reflects their own political or religious message in relation to sexual orientation,” declared Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan.

Homosexual rights activist Peter Tatchell has defended the bakery, stating, “There was never an intention that this law should compel people to promote political ideas with which they disagreed.”

“This raises the question: should Muslim printers be obliged to publish cartoons of Mohammed? Or Jewish ones publish the words of a Holocaust denier? Or gay bakers accept orders for cakes with homophobic slurs?” he asked. “If the Ashers verdict stands it could, for example, encourage far-right extremists to demand that bakeries and other service providers facilitate the promotion of anti-migrant and anti-Muslim opinions.”


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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Why do the Western nations demand the people to bake cakes for sinful sexual perversions? Such insanity.

    • Liberallondoner

      Could please explain to a Westerner exactly how what you describe as “homosexual immorality” harms children. Thank you,

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Homosexuality stems from or leads to pedophilia or both. Secularism would have sex with anything. Nothing can escape from its sick lust; the reason Canaan was destroyed by Israel. ( Leviticus chapter 18-20) Europe and America have no sane value except for Christianity; the Roman/Greek tales are all hard-core porns and the kids would be made destructive like in Sodom and Gomorrah without Christian instructions. Then God will destroy such a world before more children would be abused and grieved. I think today’s secular West is doing it because they don’t have too many real parents or real children; people don’t care because most family units are broken and patched. But West is still rich and powerful and they rape children overseas and people mimick Westerners in everything; It’s quite nightmarish. Christian Westerners are the only good ones. You guys need Christianity to have some sane morality, seriously.

        • Liberallondoner

          Ah. The old “homosexuality equals peadophilia” meme. I don’t suppose you have any actual evidence of that have you? No, I diddn’t think so.

          I hope you realise that hardly any Western Christian (even the minority of anti-gay ones) would take your comments seriously.

          I do have one other question. Do have any level of tertiary education. If you did I would love to hear where; if you didn’t then I suggest you leave argument on matters like this to people who understand.

          Oh, and lastly I have news for you: the Sodom and Gomorrah story is fiction.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Western culture has deadly defects and needs help from the Christian Church like all barbaric cultures do. You guys are bullying the Christians instead of colored people this century because of boredom, but God will punish the Sodomic West in His time.

          • Liberallondoner

            Your abilities at self parody are really rather good.

          • Liberallondoner

            The “Sodomic West” – that is really quite funny. (You didn’t answer my question about your level of education, if any.)

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You must not look down on people with lower education. You can read and write only because of Christians’ contributions. Even a child knows that today’s Western culture is immoral. You guys need Christianity to get saved and be moral.

          • Liberallondoner

            Could you please explain exactly how Western culture is immoral and why this is so obvious that every child knows it. Thank you!

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Western culture forces people to bake cakes for homosexuality and teaches children that abnormal sexual sins as something normal.

          • Liberallondoner

            Have you ever heard of the concept of begging the question?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            If you refuse answers, there is no answer for you. Read the Holy Bible and obtain the objective truth.

          • Liberallondoner

            The bible is entertaining literature, in places, but factual garbage.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are too immoral to understand the Biblical text.

          • johndoe

            Homosexuals DO prey on little boys.

            Christians have access to the news, so your denial is rather silly.

          • Liberallondoner

            Oh dear.

            There are paedophiles of all orientations. As any person who understands elementary logic would also understand, one sexual orientation does not lead to paedophilia. The two are quite separate.

          • Robert

            1 Corinthians 1

          • Liberallondoner

            What is that reference supposed to imply?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            That homosexuals are pedophiles. Gay West would have sex with anything. Read Leviticus chapters 18-20 and Romans chapter 1, too.

          • Liberallondoner

            Old testament fiction is of no interest to me thank you. I might as well get my evidence from “Lord of the Rings”. Could you please explain why any form of consensual sex is necessarily immoral? I can understand it sometimes immoral if for example it is contrary to the understanding between two people in a committed relationship. but the default condition is that two people doing something that harms no-one else is not immoral, surely?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Many LGBT people are victims of false cultures and they need proper Christian education to be humane and happy again. It wasn’t consensual from the start. And who are you to decide things should be consensual? By what standard? Is murder or cannibalism okay if two people are consensual? “Lord of the Rings” was written by a Christian British theologian and teaches on the sinfulness of mankind and the fact that Jesus can rescue you only if you ask Him.

          • Liberallondoner

            Well, I can’t speak for others but I have been happily together with my now husband for 25 years and I am very humane and happy thank you, as are most of the gay and straight people I know who are in long term relationships. As to the meaning of the word “consensual”, it is an ordinary English word to which the law (not I) ascribes a fairly normal meaning . Consult a lawyer if you need more help on this rather basic concept.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            What you have been doing is wrong. You must part your partner, repent of your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you, and try to live a pure life trusting in God.

          • Liberallondoner

            He is my husband not my partner and I have a certificate from Her Majesty’s Government to prove it! Please try to be just slightly objective.

            As for your dead Palestinian friend, I do not find his (and his disciples’) views on sexual morality either coherent or useful.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Your lifestyle is too depraved to see the truth. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew and He is alive today. Jesus is Lord of all. Why do you come to Christrian site, unless either you are seeking the truth or bullying the Christians? You must stop blaspheming and bullying. American fathers taught mankind not to yield to bullies.

          • Liberallondoner

            Oh dear oh dear. You clearly know sod all about the author of “Lord of the Rings”, JRR Tolkien. Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon language at Oxford. He was a practising Roman Catholic but he was no more a theologian than I am. Further, as even a cursory reading of his collected letters (the Carpenter edition is the best) makes abundantly clear (a) the work is categorically not allegory and (b) that all religious imagery has been edited out. He does, I grant, talk of the Christian contexts of absolute good and evil (or to be accurate evil as the absence of good) but you will look in vain for redemptive sacrifice and the allegory of Galadriel/Mary has been strongly denied.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            He was a Christian scholar and theologian; it was impossible to make such a work without His Biblical Christian knowledge and understanding. All the most superb European and Russian and American literature is that way. You don’t have to read fiction works to live anyway; read C.S.Lewis’ “Mere Christianity.”

  • Roy Hobs

    The Spirit of Anti-Christ is parasitical in nature. They hate us, but can’t live without us.

  • Becky

    “Support Gay Marriage” is hate speech.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      Yes. Peaceful homophobia is a human right. Every human has a human right to reject Western notion of homosexual immorality. It is wrong for anyone to be punished for rejecting to serve an immorality. UK and USA and all their likes should be tried as human rights breakers. The Western culture is insane when they have no Christian values because Christianity has been the only conscience in the West.

  • jscotttheory

    A solution would be for British citizens to compel Parliament to change the law.

    • This style 10/6

      Most British citizens support equal rights for all people.

      • jscotttheory

        Agreed, honestly my comment was sort of bait to see if someone would make a comment about the British judiciary legislating. Unbeknownst to them, Great Britian operates under parliamentary supremecy, and really no judicial review regarding the constitutionality of a law, primarily due to the lack of a written Constitution. …Just sayin’ 😉

        • This style 10/6

          An unwritten constitution is still a constitution. The judiciary knows where it stands.

          • jscotttheory

            I know the UK has an informal constitution, and I’m sure you don’t understand my comments so piss off.

          • This style 10/6

            Charming! Try writing a comprehensible sentence.

          • jscotttheory

            Not attempting to be charming, just here to irritate and annoy, mission accomplished.

  • daniwitz13

    This bakery bakes cakes not advertise or promote agendas. Their business is to bake and sell cakes not sell messages. Cakes and messages are two different entities. They did not refuse to bake a cake, they refused to promote a message, no matter what that message is. There are businesses that do just that, send or promote the message of you choice. Not a baker that sell cakes. A cake and a message are two different animals.

    • Liberallondoner

      Well said. And tI understand, by the way, that these singularly unpleasant people are staying in business by limiting their range of messages on cakes to a few standards. As to messages being different from cakes, most people seem not to be aware that there is a general right in Northern Ireland to be be discriminated against by reason of political opinion (I think it is that) in addtion to the seven characteristics which the GB law protects.

  • Hugh1

    This cow has run dry. Enough! No mas!

  • Michael C

    Based on the outcomes in the Hands On Originals and Azucar Bakery cases, I’m confident that if this were a U.S. case, they would not have been found guilty of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    This case is quite different than the wedding cake discrimination cases we’ve seen here in the States. It those cases, the bakeries have refused to sell a gay customer a product that is no different than what they would readily sell to a straight customer. This case bears more similarity to the Hands On Original and Azucar Bakery cases than, say, Masterpiece Cake Shop or Sweet cakes.

    • Liberallondoner

      For special historical reasons Northern Ireland equality law protects political beliefs.

      • Michael C

        I didn’t know that. I think Seattle is the only place in the States to prohibit discrimination on the basis of political ideology.

        In my opinion, that still doesn’t change my assessment. The customer wasn’t refused service on the basis of their political beliefs. In this case, it really was the product itself that the business owners found to be offensive.

        Our laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion but that doesn’t mean that a bakery would be required to decorate a cake that says “Polygamy is Awesome” for a Mormon customer.

  • Robert

    they should bake fake cakes for fake marriages.. saw dust and plaster would go a long way In making such cakes