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The Italian Parliament has backed the recognition of same-sex unions but stopped short of supporting same-sex marriage. Politicians voted by 372 votes to 51, with 99 abstentions, to pave the way for the civil unions Bill to be sent to President Sergio Mattarella. The measures were highly controversial, and a requirement for gay couples to pledge loyalty to each other was dropped to make the unions less like marriage. In February last year, Italy’s top court rejected redefining marriage,...


The final day of the Ashers Baking Company appeal hearing included closing arguments from Ashers’ legal team, and the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin QC. David Scoffield QC, representing Ashers’ owners the McArthur family, reiterated that they turned down the order for a cake bearing a pro same-sex marriage campaign slogan because of the message, not the customer. He added that the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, which is representing the customer, is trying to...


On the third day of the Ashers Baking Company appeal, the three judges grilled lawyers for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) on several aspects of the case. One of the judges pointed out that Mr Lee had bought cakes from Ashers before he placed an order for a pro same-sex marriage campaign cake. Lord Justice Weir reiterated the view that the issue was with the message on the cake, not the customer. But the ECNI’s QC Robin Allen suggested that refusal to promote same-sex...


During the second day of court proceedings for the Ashers Baking Company appeal, Northern Ireland’s Attorney General raised concerns over the application of the laws used against them. John Larkin QC put a halt to the appeal in February, when it was originally due to be heard. He intervened saying the laws used against the bakery fall foul of Northern Ireland’s constitutional law. In Belfast’s Court of Appeal yesterday, Larkin told the judges that the case is about ‘expression’. “I...


Dr Sharon James of Coalition for Marriage speaks ahead of the Ashers Baking Co court appearance yesterday. Filmed outside the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

‘Gay cake’ case in court today

Posted on 9th, May 2016


In the first day of court proceedings, Ashers Baking Company’s lawyer has reiterated that the bakers did not discriminate when they declined an order for a cake supporting same-sex marriage. David Scoffield QC highlighted that discrimination must be against “another person”, not an idea or an object – such as a cake. Since the McArthur family did not know the sexual orientation of Gareth Lee when he placed the order, they did not discriminate, he said. He added: “To say you can...


Daniel McArthur, of Ashers Baking Company, has said the ‘gay cake’ case is of profound importance as his family return to court to appeal last year’s ruling against them. Speaking outside the Court of Appeal this morning, Mr McArthur said: “This has never just been about one little bakery in Belfast. It’s clear that its always had implications for freedom of expression throughout the UK.” He pointed out that it was exactly two years ago that his family were asked to “help promote...


The McArthur family – who are at the centre of the ‘gay cake’ case – say they have been tremendously helped by the support of thousands of people, as they prepare for next week’s appeal hearing. Ashers Baking Company goes before the Court of Appeal in Belfast on Monday in an effort to overturn a decision made by the County Court last year. It found that the bakery had broken political and sexual orientation discrimination laws. The court ruled against Ashers, run by the McArthur...


The Daily Mail has reported that Her Majesty the Queen did not want marriage to be redefined. The paper says she expressed her opposition to the legalisation of same-sex marriage when speaking to a friend. The friend said: “It was the ‘marriage’ thing that she thought was wrong, because marriage ought to be sacrosanct between a man and a woman.” Apparently the Queen also expressed frustration that she could not intervene saying: “I can only advise and warn”. Clearly the Government...


A heterosexual couple who want to enter into a civil partnership because they object to marriage have lost their legal challenge, at London’s High Court. C4M has long criticised the idea of heterosexual civil partnerships as they would undermine marriage because they do not require lifelong commitment. Back in 2013, our Campaign Director Colin Hart said: “A civil partnerships free-for-all will create two-tier marriage, with the option of marriage-lite for millions of unwed...

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