A bakery in Northern Ireland is facing a potential lawsuit for refusing to make a cake featuring “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie with the words “Support Gay Marriage” along with the logo for gay rights group QueerSpace.
Ashers Baking Co., a Christian owned business declined to make the cake, saying the message was against the religious beliefs of the directors. The customer reported the refused service to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland which issued the bakery a formal warning to “remedy your illegal discrimination.” If Ashers Baking Co. failed to provide the service within seven days, the business would be taken to court.
The Christian Institute is representing the bakery; they say that Ashers Baking Co. was in its legal right to refuse to endorse a campaign. Chief executive Colin Hart said, “The Government repeatedly failed to listen to members of the public, lawyers, constitutional experts even its own MPs when they called for safeguards to protect those who back traditional marriage, especially those who work in the public sector.
“Now this nonsense, more usually associated with the public sector, is being applied to the private sector.
“This means millions of ordinary people who do not agree with gay marriage, face intimidation and the real threat of legal action from the forces of political correctness if they, out of conscience, decline to provide good or services to campaign groups they do not agree with or support.
Gay marriage is not legal in Northern Ireland where the bakery is located. However, same-sex marriage is legal in the rest of the United Kingdom.
Publication date: July 8, 2014