Now Reading
Northern Ireland bakers who refused to make same-sex marriage cake in last-ditch appeal

Northern Ireland bakers who refused to make same-sex marriage cake in last-ditch appeal

All a customer wanted was a Bert and Ernie cake

The Northern Ireland bakers who refused to make a gay marriage cake with Bert and Ernie are making a last ditch appeal.

The McArthurs, who run the Ashers Baking Company, are hoping the Belfast High Court overturns the County Court’s judgment which found they discriminated after saying it was against their Christian beliefs to make a pro-same-sex marriage cake.

Daniel McArthur, 26, Ashers’ general manager, said he hoped it would be the last time he would be in court.

Back in May 2014, the Ashers Baking Company declined an order from gay rights activist Gareth Lee to make a cake featuring the slogan, ‘Support Gay Marriage’ and the logo ‘Queerspace’, and Bert and Ernie from Sesamie Street.

Lee had paid the £36.50 for the cake at the Belfast city centre branch but was telephoned two days later and was told the company could not fulfil his order. Karen McArthur said, as a born against Christian, she knew she could not make the cake but had taken the order to avoid a confrontation in the shop.

He paid the £36.50 in full at Ashers’ Belfast city centre branch but was telephoned two days later and told the company could not fulfil his order.

Northern Ireland Equality Commission, who represented Lee, argued refusing to make the cake was not lawful and clearly discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Daniel McArthur, the general manager of the bakery, said the cake was refused because it is ‘at odds with our beliefs’. During the court case, McArthur said he believed ‘God was on our side’.

The McArthurs are being supported by The Christian Institute.

The County Court judge ruled: ‘The defendants are not a religious organization. They are a business for profit. There are no exceptions available.

‘As much as I acknowledge their religious beliefs this is a business to provide service to all. The law says they must do that.’

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that does not allow same-sex marriage.