Last month, the owners of a Belfast-based Christian bakery who refused to ice a ‘gay cake’ in support of same-sex marriage won their case in the Supreme Court, with judges ruling that they discriminated against the message and not the messenger.
Now, the Christian Institute is set to hold a series of events across Northern Ireland to “acknowledge the goodness and faithfulness of God throughout the case” and to “explain the implications of the ruling for Gospel freedom and freedom of speech.”
It is being reported that the owners of the bakery will not be attending the events.
The events will be led by speakers from The Christian Institute.
Simon Calvert, The Christian Institute’s deputy director for public affairs, told the News Letter, “We are delighted to be holding a series of local meetings to allow Christians who have been supporting the McArthur family and praying for them to come together to give thanks to God and hear more about the court ruling and what it means.”
We were delighted of course with the Supreme Court ruling which strongly underscored our long and proud tradition of free speech for everyone and which vindicated the McArthur family’s quietly courageous stand,” he added.
The ‘Gay Cake’ case started in 2014 when Gareth Lee, a member of the LGBT+ advocacy group QueerSpace, ordered a cake from the Northern Irish bakery featuring Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia.
His order was accepted at first and he had paid in full. But Lee was then contacted by the company and was informed that they would not make a cake with the message requested due to religious reasons.
In the original court case, District Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled religious beliefs could not dictate the law and ordered the firm to pay damages of £500, but the Ashers claimed that they never had an issue with Lee’s sexuality, but with the message in support of same-sex marriage that he wanted to be iced onto the cake.
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