Christian bakery outlines basis for appeal over ‘gay cake’ row
A Christian bakery will challenge a ruling that they discriminated based on sexual orientation, after refusing to make a ‘Support Gay Marriage’ cake.
The owners of Ashers Bakery in Belfast were recently found guilty of unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation and political or religious grounds, after the company in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland refused to bake a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ above an image of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.
However, they have since announced that they plan to pursue a costly legal appeal following the verdict – and today outlined the basis of the claim.
In a statement from the anti-LGBT Christian Institute, which is backing the bakery, the basis of the appeal is listed as: “Whether the judge was correct, as a matter of law, to hold that Ashers had discriminated against Mr Lee directly on grounds of sexual orientation.
“Whether the judge was correct, as a matter of law, to hold that Ashers had discriminated against Mr Lee directly on grounds of religious belief or political opinion.
“Whether the judge was correct, as a matter of law, to hold that Ashers was not entitled to protection as a result of the rights under Articles 9 and/or 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Article 9 of the ECHR covers freedom of religion and conscience, and Article 10 covers freedom of expression. Article 14 of the ECHR, which is not referenced in the statement, outlaws discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.
Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute claimed: “There has been such extraordinary support from people from all walks of life who are appalled by what has happened to the McArthur family.
“There is huge public support for an appeal and it is vitally important that the higher courts consider this issue.
“This court decision will have dramatic consequences if it goes unchallenged.”
No date has yet been set for the appeal.