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Christian couple who refused to bake pro same-sex marriage cake lose court appeal

2016-10-24
A court has ruled today (October 24) that Christian owners of Belfast-based bakery, Ashers, did discriminate against a gay man after they refused to bake a pro same-sex marriage cake. The Ashers’ Bakery in Northern Ireland sparked widespread debate when its owners, Daniel and Amy McArthur, refused to bake a cake with a pro-LGBT message for activist Gareth Lee in 2014. They appealed the initial ruling which found that they had broken the law by failing to provide the cake. Throughout the case, Mr McArthur had insisted that Mr Lee's sexuality was never an issue, and that it was the political message that had caused the issue. However, today the courts found that, legally, the bakers cannot provide services only to people who agreed with their religious beliefs, and that it doesn't follow that icing a message on a cake was akin to supporting the message itself, the BBC reports. According to the Telegraph, District Judge Isobel Brownlie ordered Ashers Bakery to pay damages of £500, explainign that religious beliefs cannot dictate the law.