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Ashers bakery loses appeal

Posted on 26th, October 2016


The Court of Appeal in Belfast ruled against Ashers Baking Company yesterday. This sad news is a significant blow to freedom of speech. In this well-known case the McArthur family, who own Ashers, declined to produce a campaign cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage” because of their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The case against them was brought by the taxpayer-funded Northern Ireland Equality Commission. Judges at the Court of Appeal have decided that the...


The outcome of the widely-reported ‘gay cake’ case will be known on Monday 24 October, when judges hand down their decision at the Court of Appeal in Belfast. Ashers Baking Company were taken to court by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, for refusing to decorate a cake bearing the slogan ‘support same-sex marriage’. In 2015, Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that the bakery had broken the law and discriminated against customer Gareth Lee. The McArthur family strongly contest this...


Workers who support traditional marriage face being sacked, demoted or having their wages cut if Northern Ireland introduces same-sex marriage. It fell to our Campaign Director Colin Hart to make this clear ahead of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson speaking at a pro-redefinition event yesterday in Belfast. Mr Hart explained that Coalition for Marriage and its 40,000 members in Northern Ireland do not believe that same-sex marriage would be a positive step. “Rewriting the...


Australians are gearing up for a public vote on same-sex marriage in 2017. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has signalled that a national vote may take place early next year. Such a plebiscite would not, however, be binding and politicians would still need to debate and review the issue. Campaigners against redefinition are drawing much-needed attention to the importance of children in the debate. “Same-sex marriage makes it impossible to assert that children, wherever possible, should be...


Today David Cameron announced he would resign and listed redefining marriage as one of his most significant ‘achievements’ while in power. This despite half of his MPs voting against him on the issue in 2013, despite the outcry it caused among the grassroots of his party, and despite the 669,444 people who signed our petition. Speaking in Downing Street, he said: “I’m very proud and very honoured to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years. “I believe...


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) doesn’t have a 100 per cent track record with stats on marriage. In 2013 the ONS was considering airbrushing traditional marriage out of its records, but after C4M supporters responded, it changed tack. Now, as it works on the next census, the statistics group has suggested that another change might be on the way. In its summary of responses to a consultation on the nation’s questionnaire, the ONS states that following the introduction of same-sex...


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...

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