Daniel and Amy McArthur have spoken of their faith in God and His steadfastness during the high-profile legal action against Ashers Baking Company.
In an interview with Sky News, the owners of the bakery said that their beliefs about marriage are rooted in the unchanging truth of the Bible.
And they explained that though the process has been difficult, God used it to “bring about a lot of good” and He remains in control.
Freedom of conscience
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal in Belfast ruled against the McArthurs, upholding a previous judgment that the family had discriminated against a customer who wanted a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”.
The case was brought by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, with The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund providing support for the McArthurs.
Following the ruling, The Christian Institute called for the law to be changed to protect freedom of conscience.
God our rock
In the interview, Daniel McArthur said the family were disappointed with the result and believe the court did not fully consider how their conscience affects how they run their business.
He also said: “We never meant to cause anyone any offence but at the same time, as Christians, we’ve certainly felt victimised by the Equality Commission”.
Sky News’ Ireland Correspondent David Blevins asked the couple what impact it had had on them as a family.
Amy replied: “I think it’s fair to say it’s been a hard time but God has been our rock and it’s just through our trust in Him that we’ve been able to be unshaken and unmoved by it.”
She added, “we’re just very thankful that He’s used a hard thing to bring about a lot of good in our lives”.
Questioned about those who might be surprised that a young couple hold such “traditional” views on marriage, Daniel gave a clear response: “Certainly the Bible hasn’t changed and our God hasn’t changed and its teachings on marriage haven’t changed and there’s many other Christians our age who believe that as well.”
After the judgment was delivered, The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Public Affairs Simon Calvert said: “Equality laws are there to protect people from discrimination, not to force people to associate themselves with a cause they oppose.
“But those same laws have become a weapon in the hands of those who want to oppress anyone who dissents from the politically-correct norms of the moment. The law needs to change before more damage is done.”