A Christian-run bakery in Antrim called Ashers Baking Company refused to bake a wedding cake with a slogan supporting gay marriage and now face a discrimination case in court. The bakery refused to bake the cake which would have featured the Sesame Street puppets, Bert and Ernie for a gay rights activist. The customer also wished for the cake to have the logo of a Belfast-based campaign group called “Queerspace”. Ashers Baking Company could now face legal action from the North’s Equality Commission and the watchdog assured that it was assisting the customer and has written to the baking company on his behalf.
The Alliance councillor Andrew Muir hosted an International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia which was the event the cake was ordered for and said he was in complete support of the action taken against the bakery.
“Businesses should not be able to pick and choose who they serve. There would not be any debate if the cake had depicted an anti-racism or anti-ageism slogan, nor should it require intervention from the Equality Commission for this cake for Anti-Homophobia Day. It is ridiculous for this bakery to suggest that they would have to endorse the campaign.”
He told how another bakery in Bangor stepped in and accepted the order for the cake.
He also said:
“For Northern Ireland to prosper and overcome our divisions we need a new society where businesses are willing to cater for all, regardless of religious views, political opinion, disability, race, age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender and other backgrounds.”
Gavin Boyd, a gay rights campaigner with the Rainbow Project in Northern Ireland also said,
“It is because of sexual orientation that the company decided not to print this. The law is really clear. You cannot pick and choose which sides of the law apply to you. If you are a company that is trading out there in the market place and someone comes to you, you can’t pick and choose whether or not to fulfil that order based on their sexual orientation.”
The Christian Institute, who have said the request for the cake was made in May by a “volunteer LGBT activist”, said it is in support of the bakery because,
“The case proves the need for the law to reasonably accommodate family-run businesses with firmly held beliefs”.
The charity also said:
“When the order came through to the head office, the manager and directors decided to decline the request on conscience grounds, and offered a full refund.”
The Equality Commission is reported to have told the firm that not printing the cake is discrimination.
Daniel McArthur, general manager at the bakery, told the Belfast Telegraph:
“We thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs. It certainly was in contradiction of what the Bible teaches. I feel if we don’t take a stand with this case, then how can we stand up against it further down the line?”
Colin Hart, the director of the Christian Institute, said:
“There won'”All the McArthurs want is to run their bakery according to their Christian beliefs. There won’t be many situations where they need to turn down an order but this is obviously one of them. No one should be forced to use their creative skills to promote a cause which goes against their consciences.”
I hope works out well for the customer and his partner. It must be awful to be treated like that at any time but especially you are planning one of the biggest and happiest days of your life.
I’m Catholic and I’m not like the people in the bakery who declined the order so I never understand why people always bring their religion into it to get out of blatantly trying to treat people differently based on their sexuality. And I don’t agree with all that about the Christians in these situations been treated in an unequal fashion. That would only be the case if a Christian was treated unequally without first treating other people unequally because of their sexual orientation. It is ridiculous in my opinion to attack people unfairly and then turn around and act like you are the one been attacked. There is consequences to doing things wrong and been cruel to people. You can’t go around treating people differently thankfully and get off scot-free. Imagine living in that kind of a world. Any decent person would absolutely hate to.
I know where not to get my wedding cake if I ever get married.
Also I am so glad that wonderful bakery in Bangor stepped in to make the cake. It looked wonderful. Great job. 🙂
Finally best of luck to the happy couple in their life together. Have a great and fun life together filled with lots and lots of love and happiness. 🙂