Ashers Baking Company
In May 2018 the UK Supreme Court heard Ashers Baking Company’s case. The family-run bakery was appealing against a ruling which said it broke the law by declining to decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage campaign slogan.
A ruling is expected before the end of the year.
The McArthur family, who own and run Ashers, turned down the order because it conflicted with their Christian belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
So far in the protracted and costly legal action, the case brought by the taxpayer-funded Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) has gone against the Christian family.
Initially, in May 2015, District Judge Brownlie ruled that Ashers Baking Company broke sexual orientation and political discrimination laws. The family appealed.
At the Court of Appeal hearing in October 2016 judges recognised the fact that the family did not refuse the service because Mr Lee was gay, but nonetheless ruled that refusing the order because of its slogan “was direct discrimination”.
The case, which demonstrates the need for the law to reasonably accommodate family-run businesses with firmly-held beliefs, is being backed by The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund.
If you are a Christian and you are taking a stand for religious freedom, it’s The Christian Institute you want standing with you.Daniel McArthur