Belfast Bakery, Ashers Baking Company, to Face Legal Action For LGBT Discrimination

It looks like Oregon bakery ‘Sweet Cakes’ who have been in the news the past year for refusing to create a wedding cake for a gay couple and their subsequent court hearing are not warning enough to other companies about refusing to do business with people based on ‘religious beliefs’, or homophobic views as they should be called.

A Belfast bakery has also refused to create a pro-marriage cake, once again citing ‘religious grounds’, will be facing court over allegations of discrimination. An LGBT rights activist, Gareth Lee, ordered a cake from ‘Ashers Baking Company’ earlier in the year for the International National Day Against Homophobia party held by QueerSpace Belfast.

Shop staff originally took an order for the cake, depicting the Seasame Street characters Bert and Ernie embracing with the slogan ‘support gay marriage’. The owners of the business later contacted Mr Lee and informed him that they would not be producing the cake as they felt it went against their religious beliefs.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland found ‘Ashers’ to be breaking anti-discrimination laws, demanding that the company apologise for their actions and pay Mr Lee compensation.

Instead of doing so, however, ‘Ashers’ have chosen to take a stand and have refused, stating that: ‘We’re continuing to hold to the stand that we took originally because we believe it’s biblical, we believe it’s what God would want us to do, and we also think that if we do cave in to the Equality Commission at this point it’ll put pressure on other citizens who are defending their view of traditional marriage.’

The Commission has warned the bakery that if they do not change their standpoint and make an official apology soon then they will be facing legal action.

Amy is a journalist and editor contributing the websites Planet Transgender, Gay News Network, The Bottle Episode, The Retro Box and Claire Channel. Amy is also a published comic book writer and letterer.

In addition to her writing Amy has also worked with the Centre For Hate Crime Studies in Leicester and has worked in the capacity of an advisor to the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women.

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