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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020

Baker who refused to make marriage equality cake told to offer compensation

The cake was to have Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street on it.

A CHRISTIAN BAKERY who refused to bake a cake supporting marriage equality has been told to offer compensation or face a court case.

Ashers Bakery say they initially took the order from a customer for a cake with a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street with a slogan that read ’Support Gay Marriage’.

The customer also asked for the logo of LGBT organisation Queer Space to be placed on the cake.

Ashers say that, after consulting about the cake, they decided that they would not be able to complete the order and informed the customer before refunding him.

In a video posted on The Christian Institute’s website, Daniel McArthur, who runs the bakery, says that he received a 16-page letter from the taxpayer-funded Equality Commission for Northern Ireland demanding that Ashers Baking Company offer compensation within seven days, or face litigation.

“We feel that the Equality Commission are pursuing us because of our beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“It feels like a David and Goliath battle because on one hand we have the Equality Commission who are a public body, they’re funded by taxpayers’ money, they have massive resources at their disposal whereas we are a small family business and we have limited resources at our disposal.

“We’re continuing to hold to the stand that we took originally because we believe it’s biblical, we believe it’s what God would want us to do, and we also think that if we do cave in to the Equality Commission at this point it’ll put pressure on other citizens who are defending their view of traditional marriage.”

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute asked if other businesses would be forced to make items which they disagreed with.

“Is the Commission seriously saying that all business owners have to be willing to promote every political cause or campaign, no matter how much they disagree with it? Does a printer have no right to refuse to print posters for the BNP or Islamic State?”

Gay marriage is not legal in the North, as it is in Britain.

The Equality Commission has confirmed to RTÉ that the letter had been sent.

Read: Bakery refuses to make Sesame Street ‘Support Gay Marriage’ cake

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