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Despite court ruling, Christian bakery still won’t bake a gay engagement cake

Nick Duffy May 3, 2017
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Amy and Daniel McArthur (Getty Images)

The bakery at the centre of a legal battle in Northern Ireland has allegedly refused to bake another ‘gay’ cake.

The owners of Ashers Bakery in Belfast were originally 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.

The bakers claimed in a legal brief that God considers it a sin to make cakes with pro-gay messages on, but multiple courts have upheld the decision against them.

Ashers Bakery is back in the news again this week, after refusing to bake an engagement cake for a same-sex couple.

Grainne McCann had ordered a cake through Ashers’ online bakery to celebrate the engagement of her friends Joe Palmer and Andy Wong.

The pair were celebrating their engagement ahead of their wedding this summer – but Ashers abruptly cancelled Ms McCann’s cake order.

The requested custom message on the cake had read: “Gay marriage rocks! Happy engagement, Andy and Joe! Lots of love xxx”.

Ms McCann told Sunday Life: “We were thrilled when Ashers accepted our online order, and full payment of £23.40 plus £20 P&P, but the next day they sent the cancellation note and a refund.

“My gut instinct told me the cake was refused because it celebrated gay marriage.”

Praising the bakery’s customer service delivering a cake for her goddaughter’s christening, Ms McCann said: “I felt angry and sad that Ashers’ attitude to gay people is so different.”

Ashers declined to comment. The bakery’s website states that it will not print content which is “threatening, defamatory, blasphemous or pornographic”.

Mr Wong and Mr Palmer did eventually get a cake from another online bakery.

Mr Palmer said: “I’m staggered that Ashers wouldn’t make the cake, but I’m glad that [online bakery] London Cakes supplied it — the cake was delicious and made with love.”

Ashers’ legal battles have been funded by the anti-LGBT Christian Institute, which opposed discrimination protections for LGBT people.

Northern Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan previously upheld a ruling against Ashers.

He ruled: “It was the use of the word “Gay” in the context of the message which prevented the order from being fulfilled.

Cake with a pro-gay message

“The reason that the order was cancelled was that the appellants would not provide a cake with a message supporting a right to marry for those of a particular sexual orientation.

“This was a case of association with the gay and bisexual community and the protected personal characteristic was the sexual orientation of that community. Accordingly this was direct discrimination.”

Related topics: baker, bakery, cake, Christian, engagement, Gay, LGBT, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland

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