Ashers lodges appeal against controversial ruling

Jun 11, 2015

Ashers Baking Company is not giving up. The bakers lost last month in a Belfast court, but this week their lawyers took the first step in an appeal.

Ashers was taken to court by the taxpayer-funded Equality Commission for Northern Ireland because it declined to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake.

The owners of the bakery, the McArthurs, are appealing the decision saying: “We continue to insist that we have done nothing wrong as we have discriminated against no individual but rather acted according to what the Bible teaches regarding marriage.”

The papers for the appeal are limited to the legal arguments in the decision, so the witnesses will not have to give evidence again.

The grounds for appeal focus on whether Judge Isobel Brownlie was correct in saying the bakery had discriminated on grounds of sexual orientation, religious belief or political opinion.

The McArthurs have consistently stated that they had no knowledge of the customer’s sexual orientation and that it would have had no relevance if they did.

The appeal also questions whether Judge Brownlie was right to refuse to grant the family’s belief protection under the European Convention on Human Rights.

A date has yet to be given for the next stage of the appeal, but as marriage supporters we can continue to stand with this brave family by using #SupportAshers on social media.