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Ruling Against Christian Bakery Has 'Significant Implications'

10-28-2016
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A Christian owned bakery in Northern Ireland lost its appeal to overturn a conviction that found them guilty of discrimination.

Ashers Bakery refused to bake a pro-gay marriage themed cake in 2014. In the original case, they were found guilty of discrimination and ordered to pay £500 to the plaintiff, local gay rights activist Gareth Lee.

Lee wanted a cake depicting the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie with the motto "Support gay marriage" for an International Day Against Homophobia event.

The court of appeal in Belfast upheld the previous judgment that found them guilty of breaking political, religious, and sexual orientation discrimination laws.

Sir Declan Morgan, Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice, rejected the claim by the defense that the bakery would have been endorsing gay marriage by making the cake.

"The fact that a baker provides a cake for a particular team or portrays witches on a Halloween cake does not indicate any support for either," Morgan said.

Those close to the family say an appeal will be filed with the Supreme Court in London.

According to The Christian Institute, the implications from this ruling could be significant.

"Equality laws are supposed to protect people from discrimination. Here they have been used to force people to associate themselves with a cause they oppose," wrote Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute. "Those who dissent from the politically correct norms of the moment have been put at risk. A change in the law is clearly needed to protect freedom of conscience."

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