Northern Ireland

'Gay cake' case: Ashers bakery outlines discrimination decision appeal grounds

Ashers bakery in Belfast Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ashers Baking Company was ordered to pay £500 in compensation to customer Gareth Lee

The Christian-run bakery that lost a discrimination case over a so-called 'gay cake' has outlined the grounds on which it is appealing the judgement.

Last month, County Antrim-based Ashers Baking Company was ruled to have discriminated against a gay customer when it refused to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

The company was ordered to pay £500 in compensation to customer Gareth Lee.

The owners, the McArthur family, later said they would appeal the judgement.

In a statement released on Wednesday by the Christian Institute, the pressure group that is backing the family, the McArthurs gave the legal basis of their appeal.

The questions being asked by lawyers acting for the family include:

  • Whether the judge was correct, as a matter of law, to hold that Ashers had discriminated against Mr Lee directly on grounds of sexual orientation.
  • Whether the judge was correct, as a matter of law, to hold that Ashers had discriminated against Mr Lee directly on grounds of religious belief or political opinion.
  • Whether the judge was correct, as a matter of law, to hold that Ashers was not entitled to protection as a result of the rights under Articles 9 and/or 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said he believed "most people" think the ruling should be overturned.

"There has been such extraordinary support from people from all walks of life who are appalled by what has happened to the McArthur family," he said.

"There is huge public support for an appeal and it is vitally important that the higher courts consider this issue.

He added: "This court decision will have dramatic consequences if it goes unchallenged."

No date has been set for the appeal, and it has yet to be given the formal go-ahead.

If it does go ahead, the most likely date is in the autumn.

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