'We are convinced decision was right'
As told by Daniel McArthur
Ashers Baking Company has been running for 22 years since 1992. The company was founded by Christians, the current directors are Christians, and that means that we run a business by Christian values and beliefs – we know what the Bible teaches.
A customer came into our Belfast branch and placed an order for a celebration cake.
On the cake the customer had requested a slogan that said support gay marriage along with a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street with the logo of the Queerspace organisation as well.
We took this order on a Friday and we received it up to our head office. The directors and myself considered it and we thought that the order was at odds with our beliefs. It certainly was in contradiction with what the Bible teaches, and the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn't take his order.
Marriage in Northern Ireland has not been redefined. It still is defined as the union between one man and one woman. This was another factor to consider in our decision-making process.
In the past we have declined orders which have contained pornographic images or offensive foul language.
We offered the customer a full refund, which he sent a colleague in to collect several days later.
We thought that was the end of it, but approximately six weeks later we received a letter from the Equality Commission.
I feel if we don't take a stand on this here case, then how can we stand up against it further down the line?
Although we have found this experience unsettling and disruptive to our day to day business, we are certainly convinced that we have made the right decision. I would like the outcome of this to be that any Christians running a business can be allowed to follow their Christian beliefs and principles in the day to day running of their business and are allowed to take decisions based on that.
- Daniel McArthur (24), general manager of Ashers Baking Company, was speaking in an on-line video posted in response to the controversy