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Ashers' customers divided on outcome of case


Carolyn McCluskey from Belfast

Carolyn McCluskey from Belfast

Carolyn McCluskey from Belfast

Just a couple of hours after a judge ruled that Ashers had discriminated against a gay customer by refusing to make him a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan, customers in the Belfast city centre branch of the bakery for the most part expressed their disappointment at the ruling.

Three customers who felt the judgment was right said the case had not put them off popping in for their lunchtime treat.

Margaret Davidson (56) from Hillsborough, Co Down: "I don't agree with the judgment, it is a total disgrace. The business should be allowed to make their own decisions."

Andrew McIlwrath (24) from Tandragee, Co Armagh: "I was very disappointed by the judgment, I believe it is flawed. If you look around the world it is becoming rights-dominated. This is about the right of people of faith to run a business without interference. I came to Ashers to show my support today. The issue is something that has drawn a lot of folk together."

Greta Bell (61) from Cookstown, Co Tyrone: "I think if that was their belief (McArthur family) then they were 100% right. At the end of the day, it is their business, it is up to them what they do."

Doreen Mayes (81) from Belfast:

"It's an awful shame, they (McArthur family) should be able to run their business how they want. This is my first time visiting Ashers in the city centre, but I have been buying their products in the supermarket for a while."

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Carolyn McCluskey (20) from Belfast: "They (Ashers) have their own opinion as a company, I don't think it is right that they have to pay out now following the judgement. I don't agree with the judgement at all."

Scott Gallagher (37) from Belfast:

"I think it (the judgment) was right. Laws are put in place to protect people. Ashers are a profit-making business, they don't brand themselves as a faith orientated business. At the end of the day if you provide a service you can't pick and choose your customers. But I think it is sad that it caused a row and I feel sorry for the owner."

Keith Parke (38) from Dromore, Co Down: "I think the judgment was disgraceful. I had hoped Ashers would win, but let's just say I wasn't surprised by the outcome. I came to Ashers today to show my support. I was in Belfast anyway, but I was very keen to come here."

James Opara (27) from Belfast:

"I think it is good that they (Ashers) lost the case. I only vaguely know about it, but it seemed to me that what they had done (refuse to make the cake with the pro gay marriage slogan) was wrong. I think the judgment was the right outcome. However the whole thing hasn't stopped me from coming to Ashers to get my lunch."

Ian Sinclair (54) from Lisburn:

"I disagree with the judgment, but I had expected it would go this way, like I expect the referendum down south will end up with a Yes vote. I think reasonableness has gone out the window."

Donna Rankin (29) from Belfast:

"What they did (Ashers) wasn't right, it wasn't fair, it's like if a gay bar refused me - as a straight person - entry. It isn't right that they refused to make the cake."

Balfour Stewart (65) from Belfast:

"As a Christian I expected the judgment would go this way, but I think it is very sad. I hope Ashers will appeal the decision. I am praying for the whole family."

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