Oct 20, 2016

The outcome of the widely-reported ‘gay cake’ case will be known on Monday 24 October, when judges hand down their decision at the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

Ashers Baking Company were taken to court by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, for refusing to decorate a cake bearing the slogan ‘support same-sex marriage’.

In 2015, Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that the bakery had broken the law and discriminated against customer Gareth Lee.

The McArthur family strongly contest this and say their decision not to bake the cake was solely based on their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

They were granted a chance to appeal the decision in February this year but before they could do so, Northern Ireland’s Attorney General, John Larkin QC, intervened citing NI constitutional law.

The hearing took place in May instead and included a statement from Mr Larkin who said the family were “being compelled, on pain of civil liability, to burn a pinch of incense at the altar of a god they do not worship”.

C4M agrees wholeheartedly with the sentiment of Mr Larkin’s comments.

People should not be forced to endorse a message, political or otherwise, with which they fundamentally disagree.

We hope that the McArthur family are vindicated in their stand for marriage and that people in Northern Ireland remain free to advance their beliefs about true marriage in future, without fear of retribution.