A lawyer has implied that if a bakery is prosecuted for refusing to bake a ‘support gay marriage’ cake, Muslims could be forced to bake images of the Prophet Mohammed.
Last July, Ashers Baking Company – based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland – refused the request of a gay rights activist for a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ above an image of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.
The bakery vowed to “make a stand” after it was found to have broken anti-discrimination laws, and the Equality Commission is now taking the company to court.
Aidan O’Neill QC – who is representing the bakery on behalf of the anti-gay rogjts Christian Institute – implied Muslim bakeries could be forced to bake pictures of the Prophet Mohammed into cakes if the case is successful.
He told the anti-gay rights group that if the bakery loses, there would be no defence for scenarios including “a Muslim printer refusing a contract requiring the printing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed”.
It is unlikely that such a case could ever be a feasible reality under current anti-discrimination laws.
Colin Hart, director of the anti-gay rights Christian Institute, claimed: “This is a truly alarming case with far-reaching implications for freedom of speech. It’s wrong for the law to force people to say things they don’t believe.”