UK’s Highest Court Rules In Favor Of Bakery That Refused To Make Cake Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

England flagLast year, we experienced a national debate over the right of  Colorado cake shop owner Jack Phillips can refuse to make a special cake for a same-sex marriage due to religious objections in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. I supported the position on Phillips as a matter of free speech as opposed to free exercise.  Now Ireland has had its own challenge which  is remarkably similar to Masterpiece Cakeshop including lower court rulings against the owners at the Ashers bakery, Daniel and Amy McArthur, in Northern Ireland by lower courts.

The UK’s highest court ruled that Ashers bakery’s refusal to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage was not discriminatory in a unanimous decision.

The case began in 2014 when gay rights activist Gareth Lee, sued the bakery for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and political beliefs after being refused a cake reading “Support Gay Marriage”. Lee had previously purchased cakes from the shop.Here is how the Court laid out the critical facts:

“On 8 or 9 May 2014, Mr Lee went into the shop and placed an order for a cake to be iced with his design, a coloured picture of cartoon-like characters “Bert and Ernie”, the QueerSpace logo, and the headline “Support Gay Marriage”. Mrs McArthur took the order but raised no objection at the time because she wished to consider how to explain her objection and to spare Mr Lee any embarrassment. Mr Lee paid for the cake. Over the following weekend, the McArthurs decided that they could not in conscience produce a cake with that slogan and so should not fulfil the order. On Monday 12 May 2014, Mrs McArthur telephoned Mr Lee and explained that his order could not be fulfilled because they were a Christian business and could not print the slogan requested. She apologised to Mr Lee and he was later given a full refund and the image was returned to him.”

Ashers lost the case and the subsequent appeal, but prevailed last week after a four-year fight.  The Court rejected the notion that the couple actively discriminated against gay and lesbian customers:

“The Court of Appeal held that “this was a case of association with the gay and bisexual community and the protected personal characteristic was the sexual orientation of that community” (para 58). This suggests that the reason for refusing to supply the cake was that Mr Lee was likely to associate with the gay community of which the McArthurs disapproved. But there was no evidence that the bakery had discriminated on that or any other prohibited ground in the past. The evidence was that they both employed and served gay people and treated them in a nondiscriminatory way. Nor was there any finding that the reason for refusing to supply the cake was that Mr Lee was thought to associate with gay people. The reason was their religious objection to gay marriage.”

The opinion is a refreshing departure in a country where free speech has been under continuing attack and erosion with the criminalization and regulation of speech.

Here is the opinion: Ashers Decision

13 thoughts on “UK’s Highest Court Rules In Favor Of Bakery That Refused To Make Cake Supporting Same-Sex Marriage”

  1. Why would anyone want to bake these filthy perverts a cake??? They will probably just do unnatural things with it. Like stick it up each other’s rear end. Who knows??? They stick everything else up there.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – I did see an article that some company is trying to make a vibrator/dildo that is easier to extract from the anus. They seem (as a group) to keep getting caught there and having to be extracted in emergency rooms. This seems to be a unisex problem. 😉 And in talking to a nurse friend of mine who used to work emergency rooms, it was a unisex problem when she was working there.

  2. James Madison defined private property as:

    “…that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

    Government must declare Eminent Domain and compensate to “take” not use or dispose of private property.

    Rights and freedoms of human beings are natural, God-given, universal and extant in the United Kingdom, and denied only in

    tyrannical and oppressive, totalitarian dictatorships.

  3. JT, Northern Ireland is not the Republic of Ireland. Just a little geography lesson that people died over.

    I am pleased with and surprised by the decision given the lower court decisions that have come out of the UK lately. I didn’t read the decision, so I hope the bakery got costs and attorney fees.

  4. What does classical philosophy and scholastic theology teach their students about individuals who lack love, those without loving relationships and loners who spend their every waking moment like addicts sucking on crack pipes ala internet forums?

    You cant handle life without regurgiting your judgements and rapid fire snark for the simple reason of pride. Dante wrote about you centuries ago and here we are with trolls spending their late years in utter meaningless and worthlessness

    1. Better Not Call Saul:
      “What does classical philosophy and scholastic theology teach their students about individuals who lack love, those without loving relationships and loners who spend their every waking moment like addicts sucking on crack pipes ala internet forums?”
      ******************
      I’m guessing classical philosophy and scholastic theology teach their students that folks who criticize others for commenting on Internet forums should probably not pick that medium for the criticism lest they be exposed as pompous, purple-prosed hypocrites lacking any semblance of self-awareness much less irony.

      I think Aristotle or the Reverend Ernest Angley said that. I always get ‘em confused.

      1. mespo – I do not remember Aristotle musing about the internet or crack pipes. Maybe that was Plato’s Cave?

  5. When you are bent, you are bent. You are bent all the way.

    Pattycake, pattycake, bakers clan…
    Bake me a cake as fast as you can.

    Burn it and wrap it and mark it with a B
    Put it in the oven for Patty and Pee.

  6. News flash. Narcissism is an integral component of homosexual subcultures and reproving abusiveness (like the lesser sort of school administrator) is a feature of liberal political subculture. The appropriate response of the larger society is

    1. to tell homosexuals that they’re not (as a class0 of much interest and that their problems in living are not that important or worthy of much public notice.

    2. To kick liberals out of office. The older generation were people with whom you had policy disagreements. The younger generations are simply unfit.

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