Ashers Baking Co back in court for technical hearing

The Ashers Baking Company case is in court again – this time for a one-day hearing as judges consider technical legal points.

The court case was put on hold last month following an intervention by Northern Ireland’s Attorney General, John Larkin.

The hearing is taking place at the Court of Appeal in Belfast. The McArthur family will not be present.

Support

Senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, will consider technical points of law.

The Christian Institute is supporting Ashers Baking Company in their stand for biblical marriage, after they were sued for not decorating a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of The Christian Institute, said: “It is heartening that support continues to pour in for the McArthur family and the stand they have taken.

“In excess of 15,000 people have now signed our petition backing them.

Free speech

“Some have attempted to portray this case as a minor business dispute.

“But what is really at stake here are fundamental principles – free thought, free speech and freedom from coercion by the state.

“The court is going to hear arguments from the Attorney General on why he believes the laws used against the McArthurs may be flawed.”

Equality laws

Following today’s hearing, a further four days have been allocated for the full appeal hearing starting on Monday 9 May.

Mr Larkin’s intervention raised questions over the constitutional validity and effect of the regulations on which the case is based.

His argument concerns Northern Ireland’s particular political and religious equality legislation and the regulations relating to sexual orientation discrimination.

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