Court judgment on Ashers case now due 19 May

The judgment on the Ashers Baking Company case is now to be given on Tuesday 19 May, in a change of date from the court.

A decision on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland’s case against the Christian-run bakery had been expected on Thursday 7 May.

The Commission claims that Ashers broke discrimination laws by declining to decorate a pro-gay marriage campaign cake.

Media attention

District Judge Isobel Brownlie heard the case, which attracted widespread media attention, over three days at Belfast County Court in March.

During the hearing, David Scoffield QC who represented Ashers, laid out possible consequences of a defeat for the bakery, drawing on a legal opinion from Aidan O’Neill QC.

This suggested that a Muslim printer who refused to print cartoons of Mohammed would also have no defence if Ashers were to lose their case.

Sustain

However, Robin Allen QC for the Equality Commission, said if a Muslim printer did not want to print such cartoons then he should stop printing all other cartoons.

The court was also reminded that Ashers did not know the sexual orientation of Gareth Lee, the customer who asked for the cake.

After the trial, Ashers’ General Manager Daniel McArthur praised God for sustaining his family.

Ashers is being given legal support by The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund.

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