The family at the centre of the ‘gay cake’ case have told how they are praying for justice as they prepare to return to court next week for a crucial appeal hearing.
Ashers Baking Company goes before the Court of Appeal in Belfast on Monday 9 May in a bid to overturn a decision made last year by the County Court, which found it had broken political, religious and sexual orientation discrimination laws.
The court ruled against Ashers, run by the McArthur family, for refusing to fulfil an order to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage because it conflicted with their Christian beliefs.
Word of God
Ahead of the case, the company’s General Manager Daniel McArthur said they have been upheld by the Bible during what has been a challenging time.
“It has been a long and difficult road, but we have been sustained every step of the way by the Word of God and by the many thousands of people who have supported us. Many share our beliefs about marriage. Many more defend our freedom to hold those beliefs.
“As a family we are simply hoping and praying for a just outcome so that our ordeal in court next week will be our last”, he said.
The appeal hearing takes place exactly two years to the day that the order for the cake was placed on 9 May 2014.
… we have been sustained every step of the way by the Word of GodDaniel McArthur
A previous hearing scheduled for February was delayed following a last-minute intervention from the Attorney General – an indication of the legal significance of the case.
Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute, which is funding the case, said: “We have a strong case and are looking forward to being able to put that case in court next week.
“We know there are huge numbers of people around the country who, even if they don’t support the McArthurs’ beliefs on marriage, do not think they should be compelled to promote views that go against those beliefs.
“We’re hopeful that the Lord Chief Justice and his colleagues on the bench will take the same view”, he said.
The legal action is scheduled to be heard in the Court of Appeal in Belfast starting on Monday 9 May and is expected to last several days.
More than 16,000 people have signed a Christian Institute petition in support of the McArthur family.