Judges’ argument on Ashers was ‘not legally sound’

A legal expert has suggested that the judges behind the ruling on Ashers last month may have been influenced by the belief that gay people are “discriminated against” in the Province.

Despite backing the judgment overall, the BBC’s former Legal Correspondent, Joshua Rozenberg, described this argument as “not legally sound”.

He made the comments during a debate organised by current affairs magazine Spiked on Wednesday.

The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Public Affairs, Simon Calvert, spoke in the same debate. He argued that equality law should be adapted, in order to reasonably accommodate people with sincerely-held beliefs.

Mr Calvert said the disappointing judgment against Ashers last month demonstrates that equality law is ‘taking away freedoms’.

He added that an alteration to the law could result in “fairer” and “more humane” outcomes in religious liberty cases like that of Ashers Baking Company.

UK Supreme Court

This week, it emerged that Northern Ireland’s Attorney General, John Larkin QC, will seek to refer the Ashers case to the UK Supreme Court.

Mr Larkin is questioning the validity of the laws used against the bakery.

The move is separate to any appeal by the McArthur family, who own and run Ashers. The family are still considering their legal options.

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