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Dublin: 7°C Friday 3 December 2021

Bakery in 'gay cake' row to appeal discrimination ruling

The McCarthur family said they came to the decision after consulting legal advisers.

Image: Stephen Kilkenny/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE OWNERS OF a Christian-run bakery are to appeal a ruling that found them guilty of discrimination against a gay customer.

A judge in Belfast County Court last week found that Ashers Baking Company had acted unlawfully in refusing to make a cake featuring an image of Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie below a slogan in support of gay marriage.

Ashers was ordered to pay damages of £500 after the court ruled that gay rights activist Gareth Lee, who placed the order, had been discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.

Daniel and Amy McArthur, who own the bakery, had said they could not produce an order carrying a message that went against their religious beliefs.

In a statement released today, the McArthur family said they intend to challenge the ruling.

After much careful and prayerful consideration given to legal advice, we have decided to appeal the judgement handed down last Tuesday. We continue to insist that we have done nothing wrong as we have discriminated against no individual but rather acted according to what the Bible teaches regarding marriage.

As many other people have already noted, Christian beliefs seem to have been trampled over in this judgement and we believe this only has negative effects for our society. Our hope and prayer would be that an appeal will allow us and other Christians to live out their faith in Jesus Christ in every part of their lives, including their workplace.

The company said on Friday that it will only make birthday and baby-related celebration cakes in future.

Gareth Lee’s court bid was backed by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.

The case has divided opinion in the North and led some members of the Democratic Unionist Party to call for the introduction of a “conscience clause” that would exclude those with strong religious beliefs from equality legislation.

READ: Ashers bakery to stick to birthday cakes after gay cake row >

READ: Gay cake row: Bakery GUILTY of discrimination, judge rules >

About the author:

Catherine Healy

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