Bakery’s appeal over gay slogan on cake to be heard next year

A Belfast court held Ashers had discriminated against customer Gareth Lee

Daniel McArthur of Ashers Bakery, which declined to bake a cake for gay rights activist Gareth Lee. Photograph: Stephen Kilkenny/PA Wire

Daniel McArthur of Ashers Bakery, which declined to bake a cake for gay rights activist Gareth Lee. Photograph: Stephen Kilkenny/PA Wire

 

A Northern Ireland bakery’s appeal against being found to have discriminated against a gay customer is to be heard next year.

Ashers’ challenge has been listed for a two-day hearing in the Court of Appeal in Belfast beginning on February 3rd.

The company is seeking to overturn a judgment earier this year following its refusal to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

Belfast County Court held Ashers had discriminated against customer Gareth Lee on grounds of sexual orientation and political beliefs. The firm, run by the McArthur family, was ordered to pay £500 in damages to the gay rights activist. Backed by the Equality Commission, Mr Lee sued the bakery after it refused an order placed at its Belfast city centre shop in 2014. His money was refunded because the message went against the owners’ faith.