NI BAKERS THREATENED BY QUANGO FACE COURT ON 26 MARCH
A taxpayer-funded equality quango’s legal case against a Christian-run bakery in Northern Ireland is set to start in court on Thursday 26 March.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland claims that Ashers Baking Company broke political and sexual orientation discrimination laws by declining to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake last year. But the McArthur family, who own Ashers Baking Company, said they could not fulfil the order because of their sincere conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The McArthurs have received widespread support, including from a gay activist, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, MPs and MLAs. A poll has also shown that the majority of the general public think the legal action is excessive.
DUP MLA Paul Givan has launched a consultation on introducing a ‘conscience clause’ in Northern Ireland, in light of the case. He wants to table a Private Member’s Bill to amend equality legislation.
Lawyers for Ashers Baking Company deny that they breached any laws, but a conscience clause would help to prevent similar cases being brought in the future.