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Christian bakery faces legal action for refusing to make ‘support gay marriage’ Bert and Ernie cake

  • Robert W. Pierce

    So, Christian Concern, answer this for us. Should a gay owned business be allowed to refuse service to a known christian nutters such as Andrea Minichiello Williams, Colin Hart, Andrew Marsh because it would go against the beliefs of the gay owner? I would love to hear from them.

    • Marion

      They shouldn’t be allowed to refuse service to someone just because they are a ‘known Christian nutter’. If however they have harrassed the business owner/staff in the past, or they have put in an order which is offensive to the gay owners beliefs (ie, they asked them to bake a cake for a NOM gathering), then sure they should be allowed to refuse service.

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  • Steven Gregory

    Let me just take a stab in the dark: I bet this bakery has no problem selling oodles of goods to those who exercise gluttony and sloth; or wedding cakes for those remarrying after divorce (adultery), fornicators and non-believers; and to couples of which the bride is not a virgin.

    As we have learned in the U.S.: religion is cheap and easy: just hate gays.

    • Roman

      That’s the thing, they like to pick and choose what “teachings” they follow, and not all have fully read the bible either.
      I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head! :)

      • Steven Gregory

        We have a magnificent legislator in the United States, Diane Savino of the New York legislature. I hope you can access her speech, she’s amazing as she explains that religious people have nothing to fear from two people who love and are dedicated to each other. She points out that marriage has been abused by those who have the privilege and treat it so cavalierly. She talks about marriage in media, how it’s a joke. She has no notes and is clearly a spectacularly eloquent speaker.

  • Daniel

    When will these bigots learn to keep personal beliefs and lifestyles out of business.

  • Halou

    “That means that we run our business according to Christian values and beliefs, according to what the Bible teaches. It means …… that we trade openly and honestly with people,”

    That’s not what any version of the bible says though, least of all it’s Northern Ireland editions. The bible explicitly demands that people who do not follow the ‘one true faith’ be violently rejected and forced out of the community. Something that the self-segregating communities of past decades not only understood but also put into practice with great enthusiasm, like those glorious days of the 1970s, to which all people in Northern Ireland look back fondly. The place was literally booming with religious sentiment.

    Either the bakery be forced to do business with all customers who walk through the door, or they be compelled by the law to follow their bigotry book to the letter and never do business with anybody.

  • Bobbleobble

    They were not being asked to endorse anything, simply being asked to provide a professional service. They weren’t being asked to join the movement just produce a flipping cake. And comparing it to profanity and pornography is not only ridiculous but insulting.

    The idea that they are running their business in accordance with Christian values is laughable. They just don’t like gay people and want yo use their religion as an excuse. I hope they have the book thrown at them.

    • Roman

      And how many times do you want to bet these good christians have watched porn or done something considered un-christian lol?! xD
      The cake was supposed to be for a charity! They must have no heart.

      A Charity! We are all people and some of us need help more than others, this is why charities exist!

      They should not be wearing two or more types of material for their clothing clothing by the bibles rules either.

      It’s rather disgusting of them to use religion as an excuse because there are many gay christians.

  • Richard James

    Surely they just don’t want to join the political campaign. What if I wanted to refuse to bake a cake for an anti-gay marriage group’s campaign?

    • Halou

      Take every liberty you can to make the cake as ‘gay’ as possible. Maybe make it look like they want on the outside and then hide a rainbow inside of it or something.

    • Bobbleobble

      They’re not being asked to join a campaign, just produce a cake! Do you think the baker goes along to every birthday party he makes a cake for?

  • Dave

    Seems a cake with message “support gay marriage” is more a deliberate challenge to the cake maker than a celebration of two people’s wedding.

    Think about it like this: Should a known Labour party member be legally required to make a cake with the “Support the Conservatives” message on it?

    • Bobbleobble

      It was just a cake, I’m sure the person who commissioned it never once thought it was a challenge, he just wanted a cake!

      And if the Labour Party member ran a bakery then yes he should produce any cake that someone requests without prejudice. He is not being to join or even support the Tories, just yo provide a service.

      • Dave

        And the same would apply to a gay cake maker being asked to make a “Gay marriage is an abomination” cake. It doesn’t seem quite fair that he should be forced to put that on one of his cakes. However you would disagree, I suppose?

        • Carl

          The gay cakemaker would have to provide the service. Me personally would add a laxative to the cake (just joking) ;)

          • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

            I would do it gladly but it would cost twice as much. All he has to do is put up a sign that says “special cakes” carried a premium rate! Then, should the need arise, he is covered and quids in!

        • Bobbleobble

          If he’s a baker he does the job he’s there to do. It’s not up to the baker to decide what is or isn’t acceptable to put on a cake so long as no laws are violated. Again, no one is asking the baker to believe in the contents of the message, just to provide a service without prejudice.

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          When was the last time you were at a function that had a cake that advertised who made it. Never, because bakers never do that….so if a Gay baker had to put “Gay is an abomination” on a cake, apart from the baker, who would Know or indeed frankly, care!

    • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

      Absolutely, as the baker is providing a service for which he receives remuneration. Were he to do it for free then he could refuse…. In the north of Ireland anyway. This law does not apply in Great Britain. Such a law was necessary as whole towns and villiages found themselves with empty tills when Nationalist or Loyalists boycotted each others shops or were refused service because they were Nationalist or Loyalist, which are Political Positions/opinions!

  • atalanta

    By taking this to court, the bakery is only wasting Christian Concern’s money. Personally, I hope they waste as much of it as possible.

    And here’s why.

    Queerspace is protected in TWO WAYS under legislation in Northern Ireland.

    1) As in the rest of the UK, discrimination in provision of services on the grounds of sexual orientation is illegal.

    2) Arguably, this was not about the orientation of the customer but about the political message on the cake. (This argument is a non-starter when people are refused wedding cakes, but this was not a wedding cake – it was a campaign cake.) But in Northern Ireland, discrimination in provision of services on the grounds of political opinion is ALSO illegal (this is not the case in the rest of the UK). To quote the relevant guidance: “Political opinion.. may include political opinions relating to the conduct or government of the state, or matters of policy, eg, conservative or socialist political opinions.”

    In fact, in Northern Ireland, religious belief and political opinion are treated as largely equivalent in anti-discrimination law. Consequently in Northern Ireland, Queerspace has exactly the same right to get their cake as Christian Concern has to get a cake from a Muslim baker reading “Christ is our saviour”, or indeed to get a cake from a gay baker reading “Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman”. It is also the same right that nationalists have to get a cake reading “Ireland = 32 counties” or that unionists have to get a cake reading “UK=GB+NI”.

    Banning discrimination on the grounds of political opinion is is a fundamental plank of the peace process in Northern Ireland, and the chances of the courts overturning it are absolutely zero, even if Mr McArthur received an engraved command from Jesus telling him not to bake this cake.

    • Cal

      Thanks for that. Interesting and good to know.

    • TomSatsuma

      “in Northern Ireland, discrimination in provision of services on the grounds of political opinion is ALSO illegal”
      I had no idea this was the case – thanks for sharing… although I find the concept fairly terrifying.

    • john

      I was slightly confused when I read the article becuase it was as though they were rejecting the political message rather than rejecting to bake a cake for a “gay wedding”.
      It would be interesting to see what they would say if a gay couple went in and asked them to bake a cake for a CP ceremony with the words “just married” and had 2 doll blokes put on the top of the cake(after all CPs have always been referred to as marriages in the papers). Would they still refuse? I suspect they would. It would be either nice to either boycott the shop or bombard them with requests for “gay” cakes!

    • Iain Duncan

      Queerspace knew they were protected.They also knew that the bakery had no such protection.So they exploited the situation to persecute and defame the bakery because they were Christians.

  • Lewis Brand

    Ah well, these bakers are going to find out the hard way how much bread this is going to cost

  • Lewis Brand

    The bakery actually missed a trick on this one ; Bert and Ernie are trademarked characters from Sesame Street, therefore they would have breached copyright law reproducing their images without permission

  • Peter B

    I’m probably going to be blasted for this but I think there is a very important difference here to the instance with the Christian B&B owners who refused to a gay couple to share a room.
    Although I would love it for everyone to support gay marriage, there is no denying that this cake is promoting political support towards a particular movement/cause rather than a celebration.. It’s telling people to support something. If it was a cake for a gay wedding, then obviously the bakery would have to make it, but this is obviously trying to change minds and opinions.
    Try and imaging that a anti-gay event came to your bakery and asked for a cake. I would serve them a cake for their event if it had no message. However, if the cake read things like “Gays deserve no rights” or “Gays are second-class citizens and should be treated as such”, then I would refuse to make it.
    It is obvious what is right and what is wrong here, but we must treat political slogans and support the same on both sides. Customers must always be served but that doesn’t mean that suppliers must agree to promote the customers’ politics.
    The bakery should have said that we are happy to make a cake to celebrate your event, but we will not assist in your endeavour to promote your political views to the general public”. (it’s important to highlight that the cake could be political rather than spiritual)
    I know that these guy’s arguments are religious which hold no water, but if they objected to it politically, then that has substance).
    What do you guys think?

    • Bobbleobble

      I think that the bakery should do the job they are there to do instead of moralising which, last time I checked, was not part of the remit of a baker. No one was asking him to join the cause.

    • David H

      I’m with Bobbleobble. The only time a business should be refusing to undertake a job is (a) if they haven’t the resource or (b) if they’re being asked to do something illegal.

      Think about it logically, if the owner of a printing business was a staunch Tory would he turn away a Lib Dem candidate wanting 10000 leaflets printing? Of course not. Business and personal opinions don’t and shouldn’t mix.

      • TomSatsuma

        So you’d be happy hosting a white power event in your venue?

        • David H

          Of course I wouldn’t be happy about it. But that isn’t what I said. If I’m providing a business service I must treat all customers equally irrespective of whether I agree with their beliefs/positions or otherwise. The law, in this country at least, rightly doesn’t allow me to discriminate.

          • TomSatsuma

            Well it does. I’m glad I can totally refuse a white power group… Not because they are white.

            Race, sexual orientation, sex, age, disability etc are the only protected characteristics… people still have the right to refuse custom to anyone for any other reason.

          • David H

            As I’m sure you’re aware, the law is rather more complicated than that. You’re simply citing the protected characteristics. The provision of services extends beyond that and you cannot simply refuse to serve someone “because we don’t serve your sort.” For instance, Nick Griffin’s bank manager could not turn around and close his account simply because of his political views; however, abhorrent they may be.

    • Jdh

      Peter, I feel just as you do, but I doubt our gay friends here on PN will agree. In the end this just adds fuel to the fire for all the bigots and does nothing to constructively create a more equal world….

      • bobbleobble

        And how does allowing gay people to be discriminated against create a more equal world? How does excusing bigotry help eradicate it?

        Seriously I think some homophobe apologists won’t be happy until there are ‘no gays here’ stickers legally up in windows.

        • Jdh

          “Homophobe apologist”!?
          Doubt it. It’s because I respect everyone’s rights to believe in what they want (no matter how silly) that I find this so upsetting.
          Gay (or equal as I like to term it) rights are on the receiving end of a global backlash by organised religion. A set of organisations so well connected they can contact millions of their followers so quickly and easily to tell them how to act politically. Just look at how the pulpits encourage members to write to MP’s at every step.
          Our ‘gay agenda’ does not benefit from any organisation or community; rather we rely on pragmatic, fair and reasoned thinking across the country to advance equality.
          When stories like this crop up – we look like silly screaming kids desperate to cause offence.
          Look at the majority of comments across other news sources to see what the general public think of this case.
          Let’s pick fights that are fair rather than dubiously coined discrimination by round about association.

          • David H

            Jdh, although I don’t particularly agree with much of what you say, I think I understand where you are coming from in terms of the argument.

            In fairness, I am also of the opinion that Queerspace effectively picked a fight with Asher’s Bakers; who, whilst family run, aren’t the little family bakers they’re trying to be presented as – they have a number of stores and supply to Tesco. Both sides are trying to muddy the waters in that it’s not an individual buying a cake from his local bakery and trying to play the set-upon little guy being victimised to appeal to their own supporters.

            Having read the reactions across other news forums, it has been a very polarising argument that isn’t helping either side.

            I do agree with you that the best way forward is through meaningful and intelligent discussion and education rather than what has effectively become a media circus between Queerspace and the Christian Institute.

            It doesn’t help anyone that different Christians, as ever, are inconsistent in terms of which bits of the Bible they choose to follow (wearing a cross as the symbol of their faith vs idolatry) and the fact that the Bible itself isn’t terribly consistent (an eye for an eye vs turn the other cheek etc etc) – so they’re really not as unified as they would also have us believe.

            I guess, in the end, no matter how ugly these situations are, they are inevitable and we should approach them with as much dignity as we can and demonstrate why morality is in our favour.

          • Jdh

            Hi David,

            Thanks for the reasoned response. It is more than I have received in most of my comments here.

            I accept and concede that the water is being muddied on both sides, as the cake company is not just a family run business as claimed.

            I also see that laws are a little different in Northern Ireland, and that all companies are forced to permit (endorse) all political opinions despite their stance. This clearly means the customer does have a case despite the obvious intention behind their cake request.

            What alarms me most is the responses seen in this forum. What we’re doing is giving flame to the fire for antigay sentiment, and this will only end badly.

            I truly do not think this is discrimination, but rather allowing an independent business the right to conduct itself within it’s own ethos. They are not denying services to any minority, or else I’d be screaming “bigot” along with the rest of you.

          • Mark Y

            You don’t think this is discrimination? What? Do you know what the word discrimination means? Someone has refused a service because they DISCRIMINATED against a minority.

            You can explain however you want, but this is discrimination.

          • Tiggy

            They haven’t refused to make a cake for them, just refused to make a particular type of cake. Surely they are allowed to offer whatever cakes they want to offer and only those. If I were a baker I would not agree to make a cake with Vote UKIP on it. Whatever the law in N. Ireland, I bet it just polarises the communities there further. I expect there are protestant and catholic bakers and everyone knows which is which and only goes to their own ones so the situation is avoided.

          • Mark Y

            Gay agenda? What planet do you live on? There is no agenda other than equality.

            Do you think Rosa Parks was a silly screaming black Woman desperate to cause offence because she wouldn’t move seats on the bus? I don’t care what homophobes have written across other news sites, I’m sure racists were writing the same ting when Rosa wouldn’t move seats.

            You need to wake the fck up, cause you sound like a homophobe to me.

      • Mark Y

        What’s even more shocking is that some gay guys on here are defending the right for this bakery to discriminate.

        • Thomas

          Why are you so intolerent and react so aggressively and with such spiteful insults when views that do not conform exactly with your own are put forward. Your view of the world is just that – a personal view – it isn’t gospel. Your outburst make you sound just as narrow-minded and miopic as the evangelic christians.

          • Mark Y

            Right yeah, because I’m trying to take rights away from other people and trying to inspire countries to impose the death penalty like the evangelicals are in Africa. Get a reality check, and if you’re going to make a comparison, make a worthwhile one, because your comparison is stupid.

    • Mark Y

      If someone had gone into the bakery and asked for a cake to be made that said “christians deserve no rights” or “christians are second class citizens and should be treated as such” I think the bakery would stand a good chance of winning the case if they had refused to make it as it could be construed as hate speech and incitement – which is illegal. But that’s not what happened.

      Likewise, if someone went into a gay bakers and asked for a cake that said “Gays deserve no rights” or “Gays are second-class citizens and should be treated as such”. I think if they would win the case if they refused to make it as that could be considered as hate speech and incitement – which is illegal. But no one did that either.

      Someone went in for a cake that said “support gay marriage” – no hate speech.

    • Thomas

      I agree with you Peter B. This cake order was deliberately provocative and set out to cause trouble. If I was a baker and received an order to ice a cake with an overtly political slogan such as Support Shiria Law in the UK now I would decline. As a gay married man I would have been horrified if a bakery had declined our order for a wedding cake with two grooms or our two names on it – of course that is discrimination and wholly unnacceptable, but that is different from a political slogan and I think this kind of cheap publicity stunt by political activists does our community no good at all.

      • Mark Y

        That’s because you’re an idiot. What has sharia law got to do with this? UK law says you cannot discriminate because of sexual orientation – they discriminated because of sexual orientation. Case closed. They are guilty of discrimination.

        How do you know the cake was ordered to cause trouble? And even if it was ordered to provoke a reaction, why would that be wrong if it highlighted discrimination? How do you think you got the freedom to marry your parter? By being nice and not provoking and ‘causing trouble’? Luckily the people who have fought for the freedom that you enjoy wouldn’t think the same as you.

  • doug

    He looks a lovely big girl too. (Just shows never judge a book by its cover.)

    bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-28206581

  • Jdh

    I can’t help but feel this is a deliberate attempt to make a provocative drama where there is little need for one. We’ve come so far in gay rights, and am happy to see our rights progress further to full equality, but to so aggressively cause problems only hinders and damages the public perception of the gay “agenda”.
    The main problem for me is that the customer is asking the company to affiliate itself with a political ideal that clearly goes against the companies beliefs. They are not refusing to serve a gay person, they simply do not want their products to be part of a campaign they do not wish to support.
    If I was asked to hold a BNP or UKIP event at my establishment I would refuse, because I would not like anyone to think I supported these parties or their political ideals. This is no different from what this cake company is doing. You may say it is only a cake, but if people know the cake company made the cake, they would then by default presume they supported the message on the cake.
    By wanting full equality we must accept the flip side. Society must ensure fair treatment off all people, but to extend this to political ideals, especially where there is no current law allowing said ideals in N. Ireland, is a scary Orwellian concept.
    Let’s be careful about what we get up in arms about. The world is clearly facing a backlash against equality rights, let’s not give people ammunition to think us “lefties” are hypocritically intolerant.

    • bobbleobble

      Full equality means that we don’t get turned away when we make a perfectly reasonable request of a professional baker. Anything less than that is accepting second class status and is inconceivable. Nobody was asking that the baker accept the message or join in with the cause. It should have been treated as any other order but the baker couldn’t see past his own intolerance.

      You’re kidding yourself if you think this was simply about political opinion.

      • TomSatsuma

        Political opinion shouldn’t be protected by law – That’s an incredibly dangerous precedent

        • bobbleobble

          The grounds for rejection were sexuality. But as Atalanta points out below, political opinion already IS protected in Northern Ireland.

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          So are you saying that it would be better that it wasn’t and that if I say the Tories are Homophobic anti gay bigots I could be discriminated against by say a Tory council when I want a job on the bins, or other similar occasions? Just asking, like!

          • TomSatsuma

            It’s not in England and we have never had that problem

          • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

            Well BECAUSE of the British we do have the problem. They artificially partitioned our country and this mess is part of the result…

      • Jdh

        That is my problem though bobbleobble, I do think that this is a political opinion rather than a reasonable request.
        Otherwise we’re one step away from using the same argument to force churches to hold gay weddings.
        There is a difference between asking for a cake for a gay wedding than asking for said cake company to fully endorse and affiliate themselves with something not even entitled by law.

        • bobbleobble

          He wasn’t being ask to endorse anything or affiliate himself with ANYTHING. He wasn’t asked to go along and join a Pride parade or put up posters lauding same sex marriage. He was asked to do a job and refused because he doesn’t like the sexuality of those requesting it.

          And I don’t think that is one step from forcing churches. Churches are exempt from same sex marriages because of their religious beliefs on the matter. A bakery is not a religious institution and the religious beliefs of the owner have no bearing on the matter.

          • Jdh

            Oh dear…
            Please tell me how he has “refused because he doesn’t like the sexuality of those requesting it”?
            That is simply putting words in his mouth. We don’t know how many gay wedding / party cakes he has made.
            This cake contained a strong political message (see the logo on the design?) which they do not endorse.

          • bobbleobble

            And again, they weren’t being asked to endorse it, just be a professional baker and do their job.

            He opposes the rights of gay people to marry to the extent that he will deny them custom, yeah you’re right, he’s a real fan of the gay community!

          • Jdh

            It does not matter if he opposes the right for gay people to marry or if he is a fan of the gay community. However sad his views are, he should certainly be allowed to hold them.
            He is not refusing a gay customer, he is refusing to put his company name on a product specifically designed to promote a contentious issue that is not currently law.
            Again; we do not know how many gay wedding / party cakes he has made.

          • bobbleobble

            He can hold whatever views he likes but he can’t discriminate on the grounds of sexuality or political opinion in Northern Ireland.

            He’s not being asked to put his company name to anything other than the creation of a cake. He’s not being asked to endorse a political opinion anymore than he’s asked to genuinely wish someone a happy birthday or congratulations on their wedding day.

            And again I think you’re kidding yourself if you think this was just about political opinion and not about the sexuality of those involved. But then there’s none so blind as those that won’t see.

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          See my comment above as to why Political Opinion is protected by law in the north of Ireland!

          • Jdh

            I did, and find it extremely scary.

  • TomSatsuma

    I’m going to get a contrarian reputation around here – but I feel I should point out the distinction in law between refusing to serve a customer because THEY are gay and refusing to make a pro-gay marriage cake, irrespective of the sexual orientation of the customer.

    I don’t think this case has a chance… and I don’t particularly think it should. I’d like to be able to refuse to make a Christian cake that quotes the homophobic parts of the bible… morally they are worlds apart but legally it’s basically the same principal.

    • bobbleobble

      Either way, the baker refused to act on the grounds of sexuality. It doesn’t matter whether the customer was gay or not. The legislation doesn’t specify that the customer must be a member of the specific minority.

      • TomSatsuma

        Yes, but the law is based around people being refused for belonging to a minority (or being perceived to belong) not for the message they are asking to be promoted.

        Someone further down says discrimination based on political belief is also illegal in NI (which I think is a mistake) so there is that.

        But the idea you’ve mentioned elsewhere, that everyone should be forced to accommodate any customer, is one I fundamentally disagree with. I want the right to refuse the KKK from holding their meeting in my venue. I don’t want to be forced to design ‘hang the gays’ posters.

        • bobbleobble

          But the message and the minority go together. He is opposed to gay rights being expanded as he clearly states in his video, that’s refusal because of the group they belong to.

          • Jdh

            No it’s not!!
            He has to act within the law. Period!
            That means he has to supply his goods to gay people without discrimination, but supporting the “expansion” of their rights is something he has absolutely every right to object to, as it is political.

          • bobbleobble

            Yes it is!!

            As others have pointed out, political opinion is a protected characteristic in Northern Ireland. So if he has to act within the law then you should be all in favour of him being punished.

            But in any event, he can object to the expansion of gay rights but when he refuses to act in a commercial context in a way which disadvantages gay people then he is discriminating on the grounds of sexuality.

          • TomSatsuma

            No, it’s still discrimination on the basis of political opinion… unless you think banning a white power cake is discriminatory against white people.

          • Jdh

            We’ll I’m glad I don’t live in N. Ireland then! A business should not be forced to affiliate itself with a political ideal they find distasteful, depending on them not refusing service to any minority.
            How did you feel about London Transport banning the ‘ex-gay’ adverts?

          • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

            If it were minority only that would mean a nationalist could refuse the DUP who have the Majority. Again, READ ATLANTA’S comment above….

        • Mark Y

          It would be illegal to design a poster that said ‘hang the gays’, that would be inciting hatred and murder, so no-one could force you to do that, unless you lived in Iran.

          And I reckon the kkk could be considered a hate group, seeing as their members have been known to burn black people to death, so I reckon you could also refuse to hold an event for a hate group, and win that case legally.

          Service providers should always accommodate anyone who lives within the law. No exceptions.

          • kirby76

            Things don’t get too clarified when we go to extremes, do they?
            It’s probably more illuminating to suggest that the baker, if forced to convey the Bert and Ernie message, would similarly have to convey the opposite message if requested, or other messages that fall short of inciting or endorsing murder, but express hostility in more genteel terms against certain groups, or political campaigns for expanding their rights.

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          No you are wrong. It does not specify that It says Political Opinion must not be discriminated against.period. Again go back and read Atlanta’s comment above

    • James

      There is also the separate category of indirect discrimination, which is where a business’s actions or policies don’t specifically target people who share a given protected characteristic, but still having the effect of putting them at a disadvantage (for example, banning people wearing turbans from your shop would be indirect discrimination against Sikhs). That’s only legal if it is a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. I would have thought that it would count as indirect discrimination if you agreed to make “support straight marriage” cakes but not “support gay marriage” ones, and I don’t think “taking a stand” is really considered to be a legitimate aim.

      Anyway, the article is light on details – we don’t know exactly what was said, or what the business’s exact criteria are for accepting an order.

      • TomSatsuma

        I’m personally not convinced that this would be covered by indirect discrimination, although as pointed out below it seems that discrimination based upon Political Opinion is outlawed in Northern Ireland… so no doubt that’s the route they’ll take

        • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

          Of course they can take several cases in this matter. It i a political opinion in that it says Support gay Marriage, It also bears the Logo for Queerspace so the anti Gay route is also possible…

      • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

        The article said they accepted the order on Saturday but by Monday decided to refuse to fill the order…..

    • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh

      Support gay marriage is a political opinion and as such must not be refused. Did you not read the excellent piece above by Atlanta. If not then go back and read it as you clearly have not yet done so….

      • kirby76

        That means they’d have to put any political message on a cake anyone wanted–including “ban gay marriage” and worse. Aside from any personal views of theirs (which I think are sufficient on free speech grounds to allow them to refuse), there is the fact of public association with a controversial and/or offensive ‘message’.
        I don’t think THIS message is offensive or would harm them professionally, but I bet if you stop and think a minute you could come up with some yourself that conceivably could be. I’m all for equal access and non-discrimination, but in those (rare, probably) cases where a business’ product ‘sends a message’, I think it should be left up to them whether to send it or not.

  • sleepycloud

    their website shows they deliver to Tesco. Has Tesco been contacted to see if they would stop using them as suppliers?

    • Roman

      By a few people, but there needs to be more messages sent out.

  • JonParker

    One part of the Peace process in N. Ireland after the Troubles is that N.Ireland law is heavy on the banning of political discrimination, almost as much as religious discrimination. A Catholic baker couldn’t refuse to bake a “vote DUP” cake any more than a DUP baker could refuse to bake an “I heart the Pope” cake. This cake is no different, there is no way the courts are going to strike that law down for some homophobic baker.

    On the other hand, the baker is upholding Christian Traditions….. reckon he stays open during lent?

  • Serkan M

    I bet they have NO PROBLEM selling a cake to a couple thats had SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE though right? Yeah thought so.

    • kirby76

      I think you’re on the wrong story. This one isn’t about selling a cake to people because of what they do or who they are, but because they were asked to write a message on the cake they didn’t agree with. Totally different.

      • Mark Y

        This story is about a bakery refusing to make a cake because they believe marriage is between a man and a woman – which is homophobic – it is a story about not selling a cake to people because of what they do (gay people getting married) and who they are – if you can’t see that, then you’re blind to reality. And if you’re gay, you’re defending the wrong people.

        • kirby76

          I am gay, with a dash of American-ish, libertarian-ish free speech absolutistm.
          I think it is perfectly right to forbid discrimination against persons based on their class status; I also think no one, including bakers, should be forced to say anything they don’t want to say.
          Yes, I do recognize that the European view of free speech is different from our U.S. concept, because you allow restrictions based on viewpoint content. We don’t, which is why a Federal court upheld the free speech right of a student to wear an anti-gay T-shirt to high school because others were free to wear pro-gay shirts. If we adopted the principle that the baker must convey the pro-marriage equality message, it’s a certainty that our courts would equally compel a baker to decorate a cake with an anti-equality message.

          • Mark Y

            No one is asking anyone to say something they don’t want to say. Making a cake isn’t saying they agree. It’s making a cake. It’s about providing a service.

            btw, an anti equality message is in no way comparable to an equality message, so stop making the comparison, it’s vapid. No one is arguing that someone should be forced to make an anti message, it’s a pro message, it doesn’t discriminate against anyone.

          • kirby76

            You make two points and I’m not sure they go together. First, you say the baker isn’t being forced to “say anything”, that making the cake doesn’t imply agreement with the message because it’s–what–the customer’s message, not his, and he’s just the passive conduit?
            Okay, but if that’s so, why do you bother to assure us that he wouldn’t have to make a cake with an anti-equality message? (A content-based approach, by the way, that wouldn’t fly in the U.S. courts) If he’s just a conduit, if the message isn’t “his”, why should he care if it’s an anti-equality message; why should he be exempt from making that cake?

          • Serkan M

            But there in lies a problem I find with the US free speech concept. There is a difference between promoting something which causes people to come together and accept each other causing societal cohesion, then anti-speech which aims to divide oppress and break down. Thats what I don’t get about the US constitution.

          • kirby76

            I get what you’re saying, and it is a difference. I don’t expect you to expect our constitutional interpretations of free speech, but I would suggest that when one allows the state (even with the best of intentions) the role of judging the “quality” of speech, there might be unintended results.

  • Wingby

    Let’s all go back to the “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish” days. And after all the sectarianism, you’d think these Nordies would have learned their lessons by now.

  • Jareth

    It’s Bert and Ernie I feel sorry for in all this. Once again they have to deal with unwanted media attention and gossiping about their private lives.

  • john lyttle

    They will make a stand and they will lose. Just like the hotel owners etc etc etc.

  • Tom Cotner

    Oh, for crying out loud! If the baker doesn’t want to bake the damned cake, go somewhere else. Surely he isn’t the only baker in town. Mountains out of molehills!!!

    • Mark Y

      Has this comment thread been hijacked by christian concern posing as gay men? Because I can’t believe what you just said in that comment.

  • Laura Chalmers

    See i dont agree just because were gay doesnt mean we have to force it down peoples throats! So why go ott over a blinking cake.

    • Mark Y

      Because it’s about equality you idiot. Wanting a cake to be made is not forcing anything down anyone’s throat, it’s wanting a cake to be made. ffs, I can’t believe some people.

      • Laura Chalmers

        I ain’t no idiot… Equality isnt about shoving things down peoples throat. Its about educating them, and explaining.. I suspect if the person wanted a boobie cake they would refuse it – is that allowed or would that land them in court. Its there right to refuse and ours to accept bottom line they will lose a lot of business and that is the biggest thing we can do.

        • Mark Y

          What has ‘boobie cakes’ got to do with this? This is about refusing to make a cake for a gay man. Just so you know, it’s illegal to refuse services because of sexual orientation, a part of equality that people have fought for – and you want to sit back and do nothing when we’re discriminated against – that’s why you’re an idiot.

          As for this shoving it down peoples throats. wtf does that mean? No one is shoving anything down anyone’s throat, someone isn’t willing to be discriminated against.

      • Jdh

        Wow, you completely ruin your own arguments by calling people names.

        Just so you know, they didn’t deny him service because he is gay, but because he asked them to endorse a message that is not (yet!) legal in N Ireland and they don’t want to be part of the debate given their clear religious stance.

        • nixiotemba

          an idiot is an idiot

        • Mark Y

          Oh right, so you want to defend a bakery that refuses to make a cake for a gay organisation, but then you feel all hurt because I called someone an idiot for defending that bakery. Get over yourself.

          Making a cake doesn’t endorse a message. Luckily, people like you didn’t fight for the equality that you now enjoy.

          • kirby76

            But making a cake that explicitly sends a message suggests endorsement.

          • Mark Y

            No it doesn’t. But regardless, the message is not one of hate, or discrimination against anyone else, as you keep comparing it to. And like I’ve said to you before, if you’re gay, you’re defending the wrong people.

          • Rick

            It does not suggest endorsement uness they put the logo of the bakery next to it.

      • kirby76

        But this isn’t about being refused service because they are gay, but because they don’t want to express a certain, explicit message. I don’t think any business should have to do that, on religious or non-religious grounds. I know a baker who’ll do as many wedding cake orders for same-sex couples as she can get, but will not decorate a cake with words, symbols, pictures she finds offensive or believes her other customers would find offensive.
        THIS message she’d gladly put on a cake, but if you accept the logic of the decision, it means she’d have to put on the opposite (anti-marriage equality) message, and a lot of others that I don’t think you’re considering in the rush of your laudable zeal for LGBT equality.

        • Serkan M

          Im sorry but your argument makes no sense. When you are a business and a customer asks for a service, you fulfil that service. You cannot pick and choose what service to provide to a person. If you found black people offensive, would you not make a cake with a black couple on it?

          Secondly, anti message is different then a open message. For example having a cake saying we love jews, which is liberating, is different to a cake saying jews are evil, which incites hatred and causes oppression.

          Thirdly, where do you stop? You in a shop and an assistant won’t serve you rings because your gay? A cake is not made for you because you have already had sex? You won’t give alcohol to people if your a muslim? A psychiatrist won’t counsel gay couples?

          Picking and choosing just leads to oppression.

          IF YOU DONT LIKE DOING A PART OF THE JOB, DONT GO INTO IT!!! You don’t become a SURGEON if you hate blood.

          • kirby76

            Well, of course with your first point you take the most inflammatory (and off-base) example of refusing to serve black people, whereas this Bert and Ernie case has nothing to do with refusing to serve a class of people, but refusing to convey a message that might be requested by anyone of any “class”.
            Your second point is simply premised on something that is foreign to my country’s (I’m American) notion of free speech, which is that any restriction has to be absolutely content-neutral–which is why we don’t have hate speech laws. Any restriction has to be idea-impartial, such as threatening speech (against anyone) or incitement to violence (against anyone)
            Your third point about picking and choosing again circles back to ‘picking and choosing’ based on membership in a ‘class’ of people, which, again, I don’t believe this case has anything to do with. Apart from the specifics of this case, my position is that in those (probably few) professional services which involve conveying a direct message, the business owner should never have to convey any message he or she doesn’t want to, irrespective of the reason or justification or premise for the disinclination.

          • Serkan M

            So you’re talking about an ability to refuse to write or convey an ideology/ speech etc.

            Being in the UK, we see things rather differently here. We do not tolerate speech, ideas or any negative connotations towards a group of peoples or ideologies etc. Therefore in this example, Id be more inclined to think that a business does not have the right to pick and choose what it is being written/endorsed on a cake unless it was oppressive rather then liberating (which I assume from your reply is unheard of in the US).

            Like I said, if you do not like a particular type of action is a business etc, then do not go into that business. PERIOD. Makes sense. Otherwise where does this picking and choosing end? Can you imagine being a consumer and travelling to 3 stores for a serve all because someone had refused you service? Not to mention its bad for the economy, business and relations.

        • Mark Y

          This IS about being refused services because they are gay, because they think marriage is between a man and a woman, if you think otherwise, you’re also an idiot/foolish.

          There is nothing explicit with the message ‘support gay marriage’ unless you are homophobic – which this bakers clearly are and have refused services because they are – which is illegal.

          • kirby76

            Part of the difference in opinion is probably cultural differences about “freedom of speech”; but no, I don’t think this is anti-gay discrimination, partly because (unlike a generic wedding cake for a same-sex couple) an equality message would not at all necessarily be requested by someone who is LGBT.
            In our own celebrated same-sex wedding cake case, the judge ruled that the baker’s refusal was discrimination because a wedding cake IS generic, but said he might rule differently if the baker had been asked to decorate the cake so as to convey a message in support of marriage equality, where a free speech objection would be relevant.

  • amyrwhitaker

    just before I saw the bank draft for $8962 , I have
    faith that my sister was actualie bringing in money in their spare time on
    their apple labtop. . there great aunt had bean doing this for under 18 months
    and at present repaid the morgage on their cottage and bought a great new Aston
    Martin DB5 . this page R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

  • Leemus

    Did anyone see the bbc news coverage of this with Tim willcox? He was disgusting bias and aggressive towards the spokesman of the gay organisation representing the people who purchased the cake. I couldn’t believe how awful it was, my partner and I where appalled by Tim willcox’s interview. He should not be employed on the bbc his behaviour was undeniably prejudice

  • lee

    A branch manager has vowed to “take a stand” against instructions to stop discriminating, and compared supporting same-sex marriage to making a cake with pornographic images on it.

    Dear brach manager you have been asked to make a cake not support gay marriage – nor have a threesome. I bet you have made a cake with boobedooo on before now, or dare a say a PENIS. You work in a shop and serve gay people all day long, maybe not, maybe there are no gay people.

    I want Christian whats it to spend thousand on this case – terrible when you think what good the money they spend on these legal cases cost, could go to much worthy causes. health care in the third world etc.

  • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    What happens if a person from asher tribe ask them to bake a wonderful gay cake? I wonder how will they react.

  • Robin Crser-angford

    I would suggest that this bakery is boycotted, and should be made to close it doors and made to cease trading

  • mike

    I have not stopped laughing since watching the bbc report ….it would go against teachings of the bible to bake cakes for homosexuals…lol

  • Dave

    Either this is an own goal, or the men who commissioned the “gay cake” were fifth columnists working on behalf of the Christian Institute. The Institute needs publicity after a string of losses in the ECHR. They have a good chance of winning this time.

  • Ray

    Wonder if a bakery run by homosexuals would turn down a design for a cake which said :

    “Not Gay! Ex-Gay,Post- Gay and Proud. Get over it!”

    or

    ‘Being ‘gay’ is a lifestyle choice , not a condition you are born with ‘

    or

    ‘Gay’ life style choice resulted in 1420 diagnosed with HIV in January 2011 in London [according to the Lancet ....but better not mention it because it would be 'homophobic' ] etc

    I’m sure the Equality apparatchiks would happily take the bakery to court especially if it was the doctors at Lancet wanted the scientific fact written with icing on a cake !

    This silly case was done on purpose by the homo-lobby to target a Christian business out of spite because they don’t swallow the distorting pseudo-marriage agenda which isn’t legal in N.Ireland .Marriage will always remain the union of one man and one woman – get over it .The ugly face of homo-fascism has shown it’s self once again .No doubt the rainbow swastika brigade will twitter mob and demand the business be boycotted (no Star of David daubed on shop windows but the rainbow swastika ) .Sickening .

    • Moreboomplease

      Thanks for that.

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