Baker Loses Case over 'Support Gay Marriage' Cake
A judge in Northern Ireland has ruled against a Christian bakery that refused to make a cake with the slogan "support gay marriage."
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland brought the case against the Ashers Baking Company, accusing it of violating discrimination laws.
Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled in favor of the ECNI, noting that the bakery is not a religious organization and therefore is not exempt from discrimination laws.
Ashers' General Manager Daniel McArthur said on the website of his defense counsel, The Christian Institute, that "the ruling suggests that all business owners will have to be willing to promote any cause or campaign no matter how much they disagree with it--or as the Equality Commission has suggested, they should perhap just close down and that can't be right."
The bakery owners say they're happy to bake a cake for anyone but reserve the right to decline messages that are contrary to their religious beliefs.
The case followed the bakery's 2014 decision to refuse an order from a gay rights activist for a cake with the slogan "support gay marriage."
The bakery said it's considering appealing the ruling, and says it's "grateful for support from Christians around the world."
"Because of this case we have had more opportunities to talk about our Christian faith and the Lord Jesus Christ, and for that we can be very thankful to God," McArthur said.
The BBC reports that some lawmakers in Northern Ireland are considering introducing a conscience clause as a result of the Ashers case.