Belfast Telegraph

Mixed reactions from Northern Ireland politicians to landmark Ashers gay cake ruling

By Lauren Harte

DUP leader Arlene Foster has praised the owners of Ashers Bakery for pursuing their case to the UK's Supreme Court, describing yesterday's judgment as "historic and seminal".

Mrs Foster said Amy and Daniel McArthur had shown "grace and perseverance" and that the ruling had provided clarity for "people of all faiths and none" going forward.

"A fundamental freedom was on trial. It is dangerous for society if our laws force people to say things they don't believe," she wrote on Twitter.

TUV leader Jim Allister also praised the McArthur family for their "tenacious and Christian stand" and said that the issue "had run away with itself".

He said: "The effort to impose the LGBT agenda on Christian businesses by compelling promotion of their political demands, irrespective of the conscience or religious belief of the business owner, needed to be reined in. While our local courts hadn't the wisdom or vision to do so, I'm glad the Supreme Court grasped this nettle," he added.

Expressing her disappointment, Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill said her party believed the earlier decision taken by the Belfast County Court and the Northern Ireland Court of Appeals had been the correct one.

"Further exploration is required. There can be no uncertainty on the application of equality law," she wrote on Twitter.

People Before Profit's Gerry Carroll said that the ruling proved the courts could not be relied on to stand up for the LGBT community.

"The only way we can win is with people-power sweeping the country and pushing back against those who want to outlaw, discriminate and disrespect the community," the West Belfast MLA said.

North Belfast Alliance councillor Nuala McAllister said her thoughts were with Northern Ireland's LGBT community following the ruling. The former Lord Mayor of Belfast also paid tribute to Gareth Lee for taking the case, describing him as "an amazing person".

She added: "It was not easy for him but he carried himself with great dignity throughout."

Belfast Telegraph

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