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'Gay cake': It's a ruling to rejoice in, but gays are still very afraid

In Pictures: Ashers gay cake court battle in Belfast Close

Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his wife Amy in October. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his wife Amy in October. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Daniel McArthur of Ashers with his wife Amy and parents pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Daniel McArthur of Ashers with his wife Amy and parents pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Baking Company speak to the media at Belfast High Court, as judgment is due to be delivered on an appeal brought by the Christian bakers who were found to have discriminated against gay man Gareth Lee. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Baking Company speak to the media at Belfast High Court, as judgment is due to be delivered on an appeal brought by the Christian bakers who were found to have discriminated against gay man Gareth Lee. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

Gareth Lee(left) and Dr. Michael Wardlow, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Gareth Lee(left) and Dr. Michael Wardlow, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Gareth Lee(left) and Dr. Michael Wardlow, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Gareth Lee(left) and Dr. Michael Wardlow, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Daniel McArthur of Ashers and his wife Amy pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Daniel McArthur of Ashers and his wife Amy pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Gareth Lee pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Gareth Lee pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Daniel McArthur of Ashers pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Daniel McArthur of Ashers pictured leaving the High Court in Belfast after the judgement was given. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Judgement due on 'gay cake' appeal for Ashers Bakery.  Two years ago, the family-run firm refused to make a cake for gay rights activist Gareth Lee with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" leading to a judge ruling the Christian owners of Ashers had discriminated against him.
Daniel McArthur of Ashers and his wife Amy arrive at the High Court in Belfast to hear the appeal. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Judgement due on 'gay cake' appeal for Ashers Bakery. Two years ago, the family-run firm refused to make a cake for gay rights activist Gareth Lee with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" leading to a judge ruling the Christian owners of Ashers had discriminated against him. Daniel McArthur of Ashers and his wife Amy arrive at the High Court in Belfast to hear the appeal. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Judgement due on 'gay cake' appeal for Ashers Bakery.  Two years ago, the family-run firm refused to make a cake for gay rights activist Gareth Lee with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" leading to a judge ruling the Christian owners of Ashers had discriminated against him.
Gareth Lee(left) and Dr. Michael Wardlow, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission arrives at the High Court in Belfast to hear the appeal. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Judgement due on 'gay cake' appeal for Ashers Bakery. Two years ago, the family-run firm refused to make a cake for gay rights activist Gareth Lee with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" leading to a judge ruling the Christian owners of Ashers had discriminated against him. Gareth Lee(left) and Dr. Michael Wardlow, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission arrives at the High Court in Belfast to hear the appeal. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Daniel McArthur (L), managing director of Ashers Bakery and his wife Amy McArthur (R) hold a press conference as they outside Belfast high court alongside family members for the so called 'Gay Cake' case verdict on October 24, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Daniel McArthur (L), managing director of Ashers Bakery and his wife Amy McArthur (R) hold a press conference as they outside Belfast high court alongside family members for the so called 'Gay Cake' case verdict on October 24, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

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Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Gay rights activist Gareth Lee outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Gay rights activist Gareth Lee outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Gay rights activist Gareth Lee outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Gay rights activist Gareth Lee outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Gay rights activist Gareth Lee outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Gay rights activist Gareth Lee outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Gay rights activist Gareth Lee gets a hug from a friend outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Gay rights activist Gareth Lee gets a hug from a friend outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Gay rights activist Gareth Lee gets a hug from a friend outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Gay rights activist Gareth Lee gets a hug from a friend outside Laganside Court , A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the  Christian bakery guilty of discrimination ,  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 19/5/2015 Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) and with wife Amy at Laganside court in Belfast on tuesday, A judge has found the Christian bakery guilty of discrimination , Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The order placed at the firm's shop at Royal Avenue in Belfast was for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Dr Michael Wardlow(left() from the Equality Commission and Gareth Lee(centre) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Dr Michael Wardlow(left() from the Equality Commission and Gareth Lee(centre) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  The DUP's Paul Givan(second from right) and Edwin Poots(second from left) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. The DUP's Paul Givan(second from right) and Edwin Poots(second from left) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy arrive at court for the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Gareth Lee(centre) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Gareth Lee(centre) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Gareth Lee(right) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Gareth Lee(right) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Gareth Lee(centre) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Gareth Lee(centre) pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Gareth Lee receives a hug outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Gareth Lee receives a hug outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye 

Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case.  A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination.  Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.  The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake.  Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2015 Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye Ashers found guilty of discrimination in cake case. A judge has found a Christian bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan guilty of discrimination. Ashers Baking Company, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. The Equality Commission took the case against the Newtownabbey based company on behalf of Gareth Lee who had trued to order the cake. Bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy pictured outside the court after the verdict.

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015
Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family  on thursday, Ashers  face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a  dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015 Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family on thursday, Ashers face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Daniel and Amy McArthur arrive at Laganside Court yesterday morning

Daniel and Amy McArthur arrive at Laganside Court yesterday morning

Ashers' Daniel McArthur with his wife Amy and his parents Colin and Karen behind leave Laganside Court after the case finished

Ashers' Daniel McArthur with his wife Amy and his parents Colin and Karen behind leave Laganside Court after the case finished

Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Asher's Bakery gives a statement to the media before entering court

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Asher's Bakery gives a statement to the media before entering court

Getty Images

While not identical to the Ashers’ gay cake controversy, this story touches on some of the same themes and dilemmas

While not identical to the Ashers’ gay cake controversy, this story touches on some of the same themes and dilemmas

Getty Images

Ashers bakery boss Daniel McArthur at Belfast Court. Pic Mark Simpson BBC

Ashers bakery boss Daniel McArthur at Belfast Court. Pic Mark Simpson BBC

Ashers bakery boss Daniel McArthur at Belfast Court. Pic Mark Simpson BBC

More than 2,000 people pack the Waterfront Hall to show support for Ashers bakery

More than 2,000 people pack the Waterfront Hall to show support for Ashers bakery

Gareth Lee, whose lawyer put his side of the case to the court yesterday

Gareth Lee, whose lawyer put his side of the case to the court yesterday

Daniel and Amy McArthur arriving at Belfast County Court to fight a challenge by Northern Ireland's Equality Commission following their refusal to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan. David Young/PA Wire

Daniel and Amy McArthur arriving at Belfast County Court to fight a challenge by Northern Ireland's Equality Commission following their refusal to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan. David Young/PA Wire

PA

The cake at the centre of the Ashers row

The cake at the centre of the Ashers row

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015
Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his wife Amy  on thursday, Ashers  face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a  dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015 Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his wife Amy on thursday, Ashers face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015
Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family  on thursday, Ashers  face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a  dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015 Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family on thursday, Ashers face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Christian Institute support rally for Ashers bakery held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Christian Institute support rally for Ashers bakery held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Christian Institute support rally for Ashers bakery held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Christian Institute support rally for Ashers bakery held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015
Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family  on thursday, Ashers  face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a  dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 26/3/2015 Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his family on thursday, Ashers face a discrimination case supported by the Equality Commission, after a dispute began when the Christian-run bakery refused a request to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Daniel and Amy McArthur with their baby daughter Elia

Daniel and Amy McArthur with their baby daughter Elia

Christian Institute support rally for Ashers bakery held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. In attendance is the DUP's Sammy Wilson. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Christian Institute support rally for Ashers bakery held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. In attendance is the DUP's Sammy Wilson. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

The Ashers Baking Co outlet in Belfast’s Royal Avenue

The Ashers Baking Co outlet in Belfast’s Royal Avenue

Mayor Andrew Muir cutting a Sesame Street Bert and Ernie 'Support Gay Marriage' cake

Mayor Andrew Muir cutting a Sesame Street Bert and Ernie 'Support Gay Marriage' cake

Photopress Belfast

/

Daniel McArthur (General manager at Ashers Bakery) arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast with his wife Amy in October. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

My Facebook feed was flooded with triumphant statements yesterday.

Friends, gay and straight alike, were rejoicing at the judgment in the Ashers case. In a country where same-sex marriage has been continually ruled out by politicians, it felt like a victory.

When you've lived life afraid of who you are, moments like this are validating. Gay young people, coming to terms with their sexuality, go through a special kind of hell, one only those of us who've been through it ourselves know. When comments from politicians like Jim Wells send out the message that gay people are not welcome in Northern Ireland, yesterday's ruling signals the opposite, confirming that we're every bit as valuable as any other citizen.

When Gareth Lee told the court the McArthur's behaviour had made him feel "unworthy", I understood. It's a feeling I - and every other gay person - have felt a thousand times.

I felt it on a 3am taxi run to the airport when, during a conversation about football, my driver declared it was better for George Best to have been an alcoholic than to have been gay. I felt it when my childhood best friend had to leave the area we grew up in after the home he lived in with his partner was repeatedly attacked by teenagers.

These are not even the worst examples. I could tell you about my friend James, made homeless when his 'Christian' family threw him out, aged 16, because he was gay. Or a story, told to me by a unionist MLA, about a young woman whose 'Christian' family locked her in her bedroom for weeks because she admitted she was a lesbian.

"They acted as if she was suffering from an illness. I can't censor the family's views," he said, "but when the application of those views damages people to the extent they've damaged her, I can't understand it."

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For the LGBT community, the Ashers case wasn't about persecuting Christians or violating their right to freedom of conscience. It was about protecting ourselves. So many of us have suffered at the hands of people who claim to be Christian. The issue at stake in this case was not freedom of conscience but what, if Ashers won, the next battle would be. Today, the argument is about a cake. Tomorrow, will it be about criminalising homosexuality?

For those of us with evangelical Christian friends, this has been a tough case. In a fit of anger one day I tweeted that those who were against same-sex marriage were bigots.

Then I wondered how Will, a Christian against same-sex marriage and one of my dearest friends, would feel as he read it. I thought of other friends like him.

Continually, I am stuck between wanting to respect their beliefs, even though I disagree with them, and wanting the same rights as everyone else. My anger isn't at Christians like Will, who is against homosexuality but treats gay people with the same love he treats everyone else, but against fundamentalist extremists, those who use the word of God as a vehicle for their hatred.

Above all else, I dread what the conscience clause supporters of the world, given free rein, will do to people like me.

It's 2015. Can I stop being afraid yet?

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