Supreme Court to hear Christian bakery ‘gay cake’ case four years on
The Supreme Court will sit in Northern Ireland for the first time to judge whether a bakery refusing to make a cake with a same-sex marriage slogan is discriminatory.
Ashers Bakery in Belfast, which is owned by born-again Christians Daniel and Amy McArthur, will be challenging a ruling made in 2014 that their refusal to bake a cake supporting same-sex marriage discriminates against LGBT+ people.
Although the pair were found guilty of discrimination in May 2015, they have challenged the ruling through every court available.
This will be the first of two Supreme Court rulings made in Belfast as the highest court in the UK enters Ireland for the first time.
“I am very much looking forward to welcoming the Supreme Court to Belfast in April,” Northern Ireland’s most senior judge, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, told the BBC.
“I regard it as extremely significant that the court is now sitting outside London, and I am pleased that Belfast has been chosen as one of the earliest locations to feature in the court’s calendar.
“I believe it is important for people in this jurisdiction to have the opportunity to see the work of the court at first hand, which can only help to enhance public confidence in the administration of justice,” Sir Declan concluded in the statement.
Bakery owners Daniel and Amy McArthur claimed that God considered it a sin to print pro-LGBT messages on a cake.
The bakery first came into public knowledge when it refused to bake a cake that read “support gay marriage” for gay rights activist Gareth Lee in 2014.
They have been supported by The Christian Institute, which is now responsible for an estimated £150,000 legal bill.
The McArthurs also abruptly cancelled an order for a cake celebrating the engagement of Joe Palmer and Andy Wong in April 2017.
The baker’s experienced a €200,000 surge in profits in May 2017 after the second row unfurled.
“We thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs. It certainly was in contradiction of what the Bible teaches,” said Daniel McArthur prior to the first ruling.
“I feel if we don’t take a stand with this case, then how can we stand up against it further down the line?”
Northern Ireland is the only UK nation in which same-sex couples cannot get married.