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UK Supreme Court Backs Irish Bakery That Refused to Make 'Gay Cake'

CC0 / / Wedding cake
Wedding cake - Sputnik International
It is humiliating to "deny someone a service because of that person's race, gender, disability, sexual orientation..." but "that is not what happened in this case," the court heard justice Lady Hale say.

Evangelican Christians, running a bakery in Belfast, were not obliged to make a cake emblazoned with the message "Support Gay Marriage", the UK Supreme Court has ruled on Wednesday.

The case has divided opinion in Northern Ireland since the incident took place in 2014, and courts have already twice ruled in favor of Gareth Lee, the LGBT rights activist who brought the initial discrimination claim.

The five justices on the Supreme Court — Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Hodge and Lady Black — ruled that the Belfast bakery did not refuse Mr. Lee's cake order due to his sexual orientation and therefore there was no discrimination on those grounds.

Since 2004, the bakery has been run through Ashers Baking Company Ltd. Whose name was derived from Genesis 49:20: "Bread from Asher shall be rich and he shall yield royal dainties" — the court heard.

The owners of the bakery hold the religious belief that "the only form of full sexual expression which is consistent with Biblical teaching (and therefore acceptable to God) is that between a man and a woman within marriage."

"The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr. Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed," the ruling said.

The court decision prompted some discussion online. 

Following the announcement, Mr. Lee said he was "confused about what this actually means." He added that every single person would need certainty when going to a business.

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