LONDON – A bakery run by a Christian family in Northern Ireland on Wednesday won a landmark case in Britain’s highest court over its refusal to make a cake decorated with the words “Support Gay Marriage”.
The Supreme Court upheld the owners’ appeal against a May decision that found them guilty of discriminating against LGBT activist Gareth Lee. The case pitted Northern Ireland’s strong Protestant and Catholic communities against LGBT groups testing the breadth of the UK province’s anti-discrimination laws.
Wednesday’s ruling explained that the bakery’s “objection was to the message on the cake, not any personal characteristics of the messenger, or anyone with whom he was associated.” The top of the cake would have also had a picture of the bedroom-sharing Bert and Ernie muppets from the US children’s show “Sesame Street”.
Ashers Baking Company – a business with 80 employees across Britain that takes its name from an Old Testament figure – took the order but declined to make the cake in 2014.