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Hilary Devey: ‘Gay cake’ row bakery should ‘turn the key and go home’ after discrimination ruling

Joseph McCormick May 22, 2015
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Businesswoman Hilary Devey has weighed in on the ruling earlier this week that a Northern Irish bakery discriminated when it refused to make a “support gay marriage” cake, saying the company should “turn the key now and go home”.

The owners of Ashers Bakery in Belfast were earlier this week found guilty of unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation and political or religious grounds.

Last July, Ashers Baking Company – based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland – refused the request of gay rights activist Gareth Lee for a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ above an image of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.

Speaking on BBC’s Question Time last night in Derby, former Dragons’ Den panellist Ms Devey said the issue was a “non-story”, and asked “does it matter” what the sexuality of a customer is.

She said: “It shouldn’t have had print. it shouldn’t have even been a story, it’s a non-story. I think as a business they should turn the key now and go home because frankly a customer is a customer – does it matter? For goodness sake this is 2015, whose business is it whether you are heterosexual, lesbian, homosexual – who the hell’s business is it?”

Controversial columnist Katie Hopkins took aim at Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan over a widely condemned comparison she made between a “support gay marriage” cake and a “support ISIS” one.

Supermarket giant Tesco has said it is “reviewing” its relationship with the bakery after a Twitter user asked whether it would continue to stock their products.

Speaking to the media after the ruling, Daniel McArthur, of the family that owns the company said the bakery would not close, and that despite the ruling, they did not consider that they had done anything wrong.

“We will not be closing down. We have not done anything wrong”, Mr McArthur said.

More: Northern Ireland

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