Christian Bakers Lose Appeal

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: October 24, 2016

The owners of Ashers Baking in Belfast lost their appeal of 2015 discrimination conviction for refusing to bake a cake ordered by homosexual activist Gareth Lee showing two Sesame Street characters and the message: “Support Gay Marriage.” The case was heard by the Supreme Court in May 2018.

Daniel McArthur explained, “The judges accepted that we did know Mr. Lee was gay and he was not the reason we declined the order. It was never about the customer. It was about the message and the court accepted that today. But now we are being told we have to promote the message even if it is against our conscience.”

He added, “If Equality Law means people can be punished for politely refusing to support other people's causes, then Equality Law needs to change.” McArthur said the ruling was a blow against “democratic freedom” and “religious freedom.” 

According to Jim Wells, a conservative member of the Northern Ireland Parliament, “The Ashers’ case must now be referred to the Supreme Court, and if that fails to the European Court of Human Rights.” Reaction to the ruling was divided along ideological lines with two notable exceptions.

Homosexual human rights activist Peter Tatchell said he disagreed with the McArthurs on gay "marriage" but agreed that the ruling attacked freedom of thought. “This verdict is a defeat for freedom of expression. As well as meaning that Ashers can be legally forced to aid the promotion of same-sex marriage, it also implies that gay bakers could be forced by law to decorate cakes with homophobic slogans.” A 2014 poll by the Daily Mail found most Britons — by a 60 percent-14 percent majority — thought the Equality Commission’s action against Asher was “disproportionately heavy handed.” Fifty-six percent of those polled thought it was wrong in principle for the law to require small business owners to promote messages contrary to their consciences while 21 percent thought the law should do so.

Source: Life Site News