Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

 

 

Religious Tolerance logo

2014: Belfast, Northern Ireland:

A "Freedom to discriminate" court
case involving a cake celebrating
gay marriage.

The cake's message supports gay
marriage; the bakery did not.

horizontal rule

Part 1 of four parts

horizontal rule

gay marriage 1

An outdoor wedding of two men who are either gay or bisexual.

horizontal rule

Background:

Gareth Lee, a gay supporter of equal marriage, wanted to buy a custom cake for a celebration on asked one of the bakeries to produce a custom cake.Ashers Baking Company

Daniel McArthur, an evangelical Christian, manages a string of seven bakeries in Northern Ireland that are owned by his parents, Karen and Colin McArthur. During 2014-MAY-09, Gareth Lee, a gay supporter of equal marriage, asked one of the bakeries to produce a custom cake. It was to contain images of:

  • two Sesame Street characters,

  • the words "Support gay marriage," and

  • the logo of a Northern Ireland gay-equality group, Queer Space.

the cake

The cake

He ordered the custom cake for an event celebrating International Day Against Homophobia.

Queer Space was founded:

"... in January 1998 for the promotion of LGBT visibility, resources, networking and communication. ... It is run on a collective basis where everyone is equal & welcome to participate at whatever level they want to. ..." 2

Lee placed the cake order to celebrate the recent election of Andrew Muir of the Alliance Party as the mayor of North Down in Northern Ireland. It is located to the East of Belfast. Muir is the first openly LGBT mayor in the country.

Karen McArthur accepted the order on behalf of the bakery and Lee paid for the cake in advance.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link

horizontal rule

However, as she said later:

"In my heart I knew that I would not be able to fulfil the order." 3

She later discussed the situation with an elder in her Presbyterian congregation.

Colin said that he discussed the matter with his wife Karen, asking her:

"... how we could stand before God and bake a cake like this, promoting a cause like this?" 3

Two days after the order was placed, on MAY-11, Karen contacted Lee and unilaterally cancelled the order.

Karen and Colin appear to be conservatives Christians. Within Christianity, both:

  • The accuracy of the translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew, Greek & Aramaic, and

  • The interpretation of the six passages in the Bible that most conservative Christian believe deal with same-gender sexual behavior,

are actively debated by sincere, devoted, and thoughtful Christians:

  • Conservative Christians generally believe that all six passages condemn such behavior. They believe that same-sex marriage is immoral and should not be legalized in any country.

  • Liberal Christians generally believe that the six passages do not deal with loving consensual same-gender behavior by persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation. Some believe that they deal with men attempting to rape angels, a man having sex with male temple prostitutes, men sexually abusing boys, and/or bestiality (a human having sex with another species). They typically believe in marriage equality -- that loving, committed same-sex couples should be able to marry under the same conditions as opposite-sex couples.

horizontal rule

Legal proceedings:

Garth Lee filed a complaint with Northern Ireland's Equality Commission.

As with most human rights organizations worldwide, the Commission initially tried to negotiate an out-of-court settlement between the two parties. The Committee wrote a letter to Ashers asking them to acknowledge that they had violated the anti-discrimination laws, and offer what the Commission called "modest" damages to the customer. They refused, and so the Equality Commission filed a civil case against Ashers Baking Company on behalf of their customer, Gareth Lee. 4

There have been a few similar cases in the United States in which a conservative Christian owner refused to bake a custom case for a gay or lesbian couple. However, they have all involved wedding cakes. This case involves an ordinary cake.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Reactions by the Christian Institute:

The Christian Institute 5 is a nondenominational, pro-life, conservative, Christian legal defense fund that promotes the Christian religion throughout the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland. Its director, Colin Hart, apparently believes that when a message is added to a cake, then this implies that the baker agrees with the content of the message and is willing to promote its cause. Hart said:

"... the overwhelming majority of people in Northern Ireland think that the McArthur family should not be forced to endorse a cause with which they profoundly disagree."

horizontal rule

This topic continues in the next essay.

horizontal rule

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Photograph © Lisafx, downloaded from Dreamstime.com - Gay Marriage Ceremony - Rings Photo
  2. "About Us," Queer Space, 2015, at: http://www.queerspace.org.uk/
  3. Henry McDonald, "‘Gay cake’ order taken to avoid embarrassment, court told," The Guardian, 2015-MAR-27, at: https://www.theguardian.com/
  4. Jillie Beattie, "Ashers baker places his trust in God as he steps into court over gay cake row," Belfast Live, 2015-MAR-26, at: http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/
  5. The Christian Institute's web site is at: http://www.christian.org.uk/

horizontal rule

How you may have arrived here:

Home > Religious Freedom > Freedom to Discriminate > N. Ireland > here

Home > Imp. > Rel. Freedom > Freedom to Discriminate > N. Ireland > here

Home > Rel. Info. > Rel Freedom > Freedom to Discriminate > N. Ireland > here

Home > Human rights > Rel. Freedom > Freedom to Discriminate > N. Ireland > here

Home>Hot rel. topics>Homosexuality/Bisexuality>Discriminate>N. Ireland > here

Home > "Hot" religious topics > Homosexuality/Bisexuality > Media > N. Ireland > here

 Home > Transgender topics > N. Ireland > here

 Home > "Hot" topics > Transgender topics > N. Ireland > here

horizontal line

Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-OCT-27
Latest update : 2016-OCT-31
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or go to a "Northern Ireland Freedom to discriminate" court case menu or choose:

 

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 
Sponsored links