Christian Bakers Who Declined ‘Support Gay Marriage’ Cake Ordered to Pay or Face Legal Action

AsherNEWTONABBEY, North Ireland – A Christian bakery in Northern Ireland has been ordered to pay compensation or face legal action after an equality commission declared that it was guilty of committing “unlawful religious, political and sexual orientation discrimination” for declining to make a Bert and Ernie cake that bore the phrase “support gay marriage.”

As previously reported, in May of this year, Ashers Baking Company in Newtonabbey—founded by Christians and named after Genesis 49:20—was approached by a same-sex “marriage” supporter to bake the cake, which also was to feature 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.

The bakery, which has several locations throughout Northern Ireland, then sent the request to headquarters for review. General Manager Daniel McArthur, 24, told reporters that the company declined to bake the cake, explaining that same-sex “marriage” is against its Christian beliefs. Ashers Baking Company also offered a refund, which was accepted.

“It certainly was at odds with what the Bible teaches, and on the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn’t take his order,” McArthur told BBC News. He outlined that his company has declined orders from other customers due to inappropriate content. “In the past, we’ve declined several orders which have contained pornographic images and offensive, foul language,” McArthur explained.

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. Same-sex “marriage” is not legal in Northern Ireland, although laws have been passed throughout the rest of the UK.

Now, the Commission has released its official opinion, ordering the bakery to pay compensation or face legal action.

“This case raises issues of public importance regarding the extent to which suppliers of goods and services can refuse service on grounds of sexual orientation, religious belief and political opinion,” it said in a statement. “The Commission will be issuing a civil bill in this case and a decision as to whether or not discrimination has occurred will be a matter for the court.”

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But the bakery said that although it “is willing to serve any customer regardless of their sexual lifestyle,” it does not believe that it should be forced to bake a cake that bears a statement that violates its deeply-held Christian convictions.

“We feel that the Equality Commission are pursuing us because of our beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman,” McArthur said in an update released by the Christian Institute. “It feels like a David and Goliath battle because on one hand we have the Equality Commission who are a public body, they’re funded by taxpayers’ money, they have massive resources at their disposal whereas we are a small family business and we have limited resources at our disposal.”

He stated that he will not bow to the demands of the commission.

“We’re continuing to hold to the stand that we took originally because we believe it’s biblical, we believe it’s what God would want us to do, and we also think that if we do cave in to the Equality Commission at this point it’ll put pressure on other citizens who are defending their view of traditional marriage,” McArthur said. “We don’t want to be forced to promote a cause which is against our biblical beliefs. We’ve had a lot of support from people who disagree with our stance on same-sex marriage. They think that we should have the freedom to decline an order that conflicts with our conscience.”

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  • Chrissy Vee

    Is there a petition somewhere? Come on, this is grossly unjust!

    • Bolvon72

      A petition? if you want to go for a useless act, you might as well pray, it’ll waste less of your time.

      • Chrissy Vee


        • WorldGoneCrazy

          Go Chrissy! You have more testosterone than that she-troll does! He-she does not like petitions or lawyers, except when it comes to forcing their intolerance on others. Then he-she likes it a LOT.

          • Chrissy Vee


      • James Grimes

        You’re an idiot troll on a Christian forum. Good bye.

  • Neiman

    Pray for these bakers, they are fighting the Devil, pray they will stand their ground and not give in, give the battle to God.

    • James Grimes

      I will pray for them. I know that they are under attack from Satan.

  • TheBBP

    What? No laws about using copyrighted characters to promote your cause?

  • Maranatha2011

    It’s a minor thing, but the line that reads: “He stated that he will now bow to the demands of the commission,” should read,”stated that he will NOT bow to the demands of the commission.” In case anybody was momentarily upset. I pray he gets all the Godly legal help available.

  • Hugh1

    This story is a nothing sandwich. Look at the blogs in Ireland, same story, different players. The organizations funding anti-gay and anti-gay marriage politicians don’t care one way or the other about your Christian values. They care about your vote. And your vote is one of the cheapest and easiest to bundle for the politicians that represent them.

    Billionaires funding right wing candidates want pro-business, anti-regulatory, anti-environmental legislation enacted. Your vote is necessary to make this happen. Your pro-Christian stance is irrelevant. And your vote comes at the low, low price of getting right-wing politicians to say the things that you passionately believe in. Like religious matters. Abortion, gay rights, guns, baking cakes for gays etc. etc.

    Politicians voting ‘your’ beliefs probably make you feel good, like you are making progress. The reality is that it makes little difference – if it did, then gay marriage would have been outlawed for good, like you were promised, a decade ago. While you get almost nothing, your representative has filled his or her campaign coffers to over brimming by the billionaires – all because of your Christian vote. Then, year after year, after year, you see the same social issues, you make the same vote, and you might even give money to the campaign, and it makes no difference.

    The point? If you are an average Christian, be it, Evangelical, Catholic, Baptist, Mormon etc. what have you received since 1999? I can’t think of anything. What have you given up? The answer, your vote. Would the elimination of Social Security benefit you? Obamacare? Medicaid? Taxes on the wealthy? Minimum wage? 60 percent of baby boomers must rely on Social Security as their primary income in retirement. Many will need to work at minimum wage jobs just to get by. If that’s you, and the bill of goods that you were promised hasn’t been delivered, what makes you think it will be now? Don’t give away your vote for a nothing sandwich, chances are you will need both Social Security and healthcare. If it makes you feel better to vote your Christian values, even if you get nothing back, at least know what you are exchanging for your vote.

  • The Last Trump

    Wait….there’s an “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia” now!? Unfreak’nbelievable! Who agrees to this stuff? And “phobia’s” no less! Amazing disregard for diversity of opinion. To be a supporter of traditional marriage (a.k.a. “normal”) you are summarily diagnosed as suffering from a phobia! Big thank you to the LGBT community for extending to others the same understanding and tolerance that you demand.

    • Chrissy Vee

      Haha…. applause! 😀

  • Isn’t there another issue at play here? Bert and Ernie are the intellectual property of “Sesame Street” and the “Children’s Television Workshop”. Surely THEY did not give permission for their iconic characters’ images (Bert and Ernie) to be used in this way! The Baker could easily stand on THAT legal precedent alone and win his case, right?

    • guest

      You are correct my friend. That’s the least they should do, beause they never lent these characters to be used for a political agenda.
      Furthermore I think it is disgusting how homosexuals claim innocent children’s characters as homosexuals.

    • Craig Hill Phd

      Dear Nancy Pelosi, please accept this humble invitation to attend our LGBT Event known as “Fist Fest West” at the Canyon Club on Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs California. Please BYO can of Crisco shortening and make sure your nails are clipped. As you will be inserting your arm to the elbow into several naked LGBT and GLAAD members rectums. As this is how we Gay’s pay our respect to the Law’s of Creation, Honor the Boy Scouts of America as well as pay tribute to Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Something to think about while you are enjoying a lovely meal and cocktail in Palm Springs California.. Compliments of Senator Leland “Muslim gun runner” Yee Democrat / San Francisco and his LGBT side kick “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

  • Brenda Golden

    Their equality commission isn’t really equal is it. But it’s okay to discriminate against Christians, right.

  • guest

    Gay marriage is segregation based on sex.

    It is destructive to our society, to people who still value procreating and raising children to be valuable members of our society. Two homosexuals doing all kinds of disgusting and sinful sexual acts will never be equal to that! I hope the Supreme Court will realize that, if they do take the “gay marriage” case!

  • guest

    Andf I hope the sesame street owners sue these faggots’ buttocks off, because they aren’t allowed to use these icons for a political cause.
    Furthermore it is disgusting how homosexuals will claim children’s characters homosexuals!
    When I was young I thought Bert and Ernie are brothers or brotherlike friends. But no! Sin ruins everything!

  • Rudy Brinkman

    If you have a ‘worldy service’ or company like a bakery, or carpenter, or car repair, .. you have to serve the customers. Period. You can’t hide discrimination behind a Christian facade. If you don’t wish to offer services to people who, according to your worldview, “live in sin”.. you cannot serve anyone. Close shop and find yourselfs another source of income. You cannot force your christian worldview onto others, esp. not as a business-owner.

    Mind you, I run my own business and am a Christian. I do have some clear rules (since i’m in the internet business) about ‘adult’ entertainment and stuff like that, but if someone wants to host a pro-gay-marriage website, regardless if I support it or not, I will host it.

    • Gary

      Refusing service to someone is not trying to force anything on them. It is simply choosing your own associations. It is no different than refusing to eat at a restaurant, or refusing to buy clothing at a certain store. People have the legal freedom to choose which businesses they patronize. It is only fair that businesses have the legal freedom to choose their customers.

      • Rudy Brinkman

        So when you go to a hardware store and want to buy some wood and nails, and you’re gay and you happen to tell the salesperson “I’m going to use it to build a new fence for the house my husband and I bought” you would say it’s okay to be refused as a customer? WOW! Why not just bring back the old days when people weren’t allowed in stores, bars, busses and restaurants because of their skin color huh? Come on! This is the sinfull world we’re living in! If someone’s gay or not, is none of my freaking business — they just want to buy something and there is no reason to refuge that. No matter what religion, gender, color of skin or sexual orientation they have.

        • Gary

          You think fairness is a one-way street. You want to be free to choose which businesses you buy from, but you don’t want the businesses to be free to choose who they sell to. That is a double standard, and it isn’t fair. Nobody should be required to buy from any business, and no business should be required to sell to any customer.

          • Rudy Brinkman

            When you setup show, there’s no way you’re entitled to refuge customers unless they want you to do something illegal. If not, it’s discrimination. That’s how it is. Plain and simple.

          • Gary

            I know what the laws says, but the law is wrong and unfair.

          • SFBruce

            By your standards, blacks who demonstrated against racial discrimination at the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth’s lunch counter should just have found another lunch counter, and Rosa Parks should’ve just taken a seat in the back of the bus.

            You’re simply wrong when you say businesses can choose their customers. In the eyes of the law, businesses who open their door to the public can not discriminate based on certain categories, and in certain localities, sexual orientation is one of those categories.

          • Gary

            I understand what the law says. But the law is wrong and unfair.

    • RRiggs

      What I’ve heard of this issue is that these various businesses argue that they don’t want to be seen as “supporting” gay marriage. However, I don’t buy that for a second. These business people don’t like gay people and don’t want to have anything to do with them. It’s not about “endorsement.” It’s not about their “freedom to run a business” or anything remotely justified. It has everything to do with excluding gay people in whatever way and for whatever reason they can.

      I wouldn’t waste much time trying to reason with these folks. What exactly is so oppressive about putting Bert & Ernie on a cake? Absolutely nothing, unless gay people just give somebody the willies. And that’s all this is really about.

      • Rudy Brinkman

        I couldn’t agree more. I am in no way promoting same-sex relationships or marriage, btw, but I also think we cannot and must not hide behind our “high Christian standards” and use them to discriminate people. It’s, in fact, very unlike the Biblical truth to “love thy neighbor”! He who is without sins,…. ?!

        • RRiggs

          That’s the beauty of non-discriminatory business. As a patron, I don’t have to care or even think about, say, whether you like black people, women, Jews or the disabled. I buy my widget or get my service from you and off I go. I can make hotel reservations from 1,000 miles away and not have to worry that some hotel owner doesn’t like the cut of my jib when I get there. I’ve heard some gay-rights advocates talk about gays wanting respect, and that’s all well and good but in most cases, they are perfectly fine with indifference. They don’t care if the baker supports gay marriage any more than they care if that same baker REALLY wishes Andrew a happy retirement. The only shame here is that for some businesses, there has to be a law to maintain this very simple arrangement.

  • T. Jefferson

    Just let them know that ‘Sodomy’ is against the law…. God’s Law. Ask
    them to have that Law repealed and you will be glad to fill their order

  • Craig Hill Phd

    The Human Rights Campaign is currently in the news due to the arrest of its co-founder and board member Terry Bean in Oregon for the rape of a 15 year old boy. Terry Bean has been directly involved in many of the HRC’s biggest operations. He was working in Oregon to redefine marriage when he and his “boyfriend” allegedly sodomized the young boy. Bean also personally raised more than a half million dollars for the Obama presidential campaign 2012.

  • Craig Hill Phd

    The Human Rights Campaign is currently in the news due to the arrest of its co-founder and board member Terry Bean in Oregon for the rape of a 15 year old boy. Terry Bean has been directly involved in many of the HRC’s biggest operations. He was working in Oregon to redefine marriage when he and his “boyfriend” allegedly sodomized the young boy. Bean also personally raised more than a half million dollars for the Obama presidential campaign 2012.