A Belfast bakery has been found guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake bearing the slogan “Support Gay Marriage.”
In Tuesday’s ruling, Belfast Judge Isobel Brownlie called the bakery’s cancellation of the order “direct discrimination for which there can be no justification.” The judge said the bakery was a business, not a religious organization. She didn’t immediately specify a punishment.
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Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission pursued the lawsuit on behalf of Gareth Lee, who ordered the cake for a gay rights event. Same-sex marriages are legal in the rest of the United Kingdom but remain unrecognized in Northern Ireland.
Ashers Bakery, which operates six Northern Ireland outlets, defended its decision to reject the order on the grounds that the cake’s message would conflict with the bakery owners’ Christian ethos.