Belfast bak­ery wins gay cake court case

Shanghai Daily - - WORLD - (Reuters)

BRI­TAIN’S high­est court yes­ter­day said a North­ern Ir­ish bak­ery’s re­fusal to make a cake bear­ing a pro-gay slo­gan was not dis­crim­i­na­tory in a rul­ing con­demned by the cus­tomer, a gay rights ac­tivist, but hailed by the prov­ince’s main con­ser­va­tive party.

Ash­ers Bak­ing in Belfast was found guilty of dis­crim­i­na­tion in 2015 for re­fus­ing to make a cake for a cus­tomer iced with the words “Sup­port Gay Mar­riage” be­cause of the own­ers’ Chris­tian beliefs.

It failed in an ap­peal to the lo­cal courts in 2016 but the Supreme Court, the UK’s high­est ju­di­cial body, over­turned that de­ci­sion yes­ter­day, say­ing the bak­ers’ ob­jec­tion was to the mes­sage on the cake, not to any per­sonal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the mes­sen­ger, or any­one with whom he was as­so­ci­ated.

“The ob­jec­tion was to be­ing re­quired to pro­mote the mes­sage on the cake,” said Brenda Hale, pres­i­dent of the Supreme Court, adding that the con­clu­sion would not in any way di­min­ish the need to pro­tect gay peo­ple and peo­ple who sup­port gay mar­riage.

Gareth Lee, a gay rights ac­tivist who had or­dered the cake, said in re­ac­tion to yes­ter­day’s rul­ing that, “In North­ern Ire­land, I’m a se­cond class cit­i­zen and that’s un­for­tu­nate. We don’t have the same rights in North­ern Ire­land as gay peo­ple as we do in the rest of the United King­dom.”

But the rul­ing was hailed by the so­cially con­ser­va­tive Demo­cratic Union­ist Party, the prov­ince’s largest party that props up Bri­tain’s mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment and has blocked at­tempts to le­gal­ize gay mar­riage in the prov­ince.

Daniel McArthur, who owns the bak­ery with his wife Amy, said the rul­ing pro­tected free­dom of speech and free­dom of con­science for ev­ery­one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.