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Wed Oct 10, 2018, 10:32 AM

Belfast bakery wins case over refusal to make gay marriage Bert and Ernie cake

A bakery in Belfast has won the right to refuse to make a cake featuring Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie under the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”. The long running case over what has been dubbed “the most expensive cake in UK history”, was supported by Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission, which argued that refusing to bake the cake was an unlawful act of discrimination against the customer, a gay man who supports a campaign for Northern Ireland to end its ban on same-sex marriage.

The UK's highest court ruled unanimously on Wednesday, however, that the bakers – a husband-and-wife team who held conservative Christian views on same-sex marriage - were not obliged to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed. “There was no discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.”

Court president Lady Hale said the case was different from the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in Colorado this year, where the US Supreme Court ruled the baker had violated the law by refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding. In that case, Lady Hale said, the bakery had refused to serve a particular customer, rather than refusing to decorate it with a particular message as in the Northern Ireland case.

“The objection was not to Mr Lee because he, or anyone with whom he associated, held a political opinion supporting gay marriage,” she said. “The objection was to being required to promote the message on the cake.


(Mr Lee bought a similar cake elsewhere)

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