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Ashers bakery to appeal 'gay cake' ruling

By Claire Cromie

The McArthur family have confirmed they will appeal the 'gay cake' case ruling that saw Ashers bakery fined for discriminating against a gay customer.

The McArthur family, who own and run Ashers, has decided to challenge the ruling after consulting with their legal advisors.

In a statement, the family said: “After much careful and prayerful consideration given to legal advice, we have decided to appeal the judgement handed down last Tuesday.

“We continue to insist that we have done nothing wrong as we have discriminated against no individual but rather acted according to what the Bible teaches regarding marriage. 

“As many other people have already noted, Christian beliefs seem to have been trampled over in this judgement and we believe this only has negative effects for our society.

“Our hope and prayer would be that an appeal will allow us and other Christians to live out their faith in Jesus Christ in every part of their lives, including their workplace.”

District Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled the defendants unlawfully discriminated on the grounds of sexual orientation when they refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland brought the case against Ashers Bakery on behalf of gay rights activist Gareth Lee, whose order was refused.

The McArthurs are being supported by The Christian Institute, which is funding their legal costs.

Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute said: “I believe that most people think that this is a ruling that should be overturned.

“There has been such extraordinary support from people from all walks of life who are appalled by what has happened to the McArthur family. There is huge public support for an appeal and it is vitally important that the higher courts consider this issue.”

He added: “This court decision will have dramatic consequences if it stands."

More to follow...

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