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Northern Ireland court upholds ruling of bakery discriminating against gay man

The bakery wouldn't make a same-sex Bert and Ernie cake.


Jaya Saxena


Published Oct 24, 2016   Updated May 25, 2021, 5:50 pm CDT

Why is it that every single time an independent business discriminates against gay people, it’s a bakery? OK, not every time, but in the war against same-sex marriage, cake makers seem to be on the front lines. This time, it’s in Northern Ireland, where a Belfast Court of Appeals upheld a ruling against a bakery that refused to make a cake with a pro-gay message.

An earlier ruling declared that local chain Ashers Baking Company discriminated against Gareth Lee after refusing to make a cake that said, “Support Gay Marriage.” The bakery claimed the cake contradicted its religious beliefs and was found guilty of discrimination under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2006.

The bakery said it would have happily printed the cake, which featured an image of Bert and Ernie with their arms around each other, if only it didn’t use the word “gay.” “We accept that it was the use of the word ‘gay’ in the context of the message which prevented the order from being fulfilled,” judges told BBC.

This is just the latest in a long line of cake controversies. There were the anti-gay bakers in Colorado and Oregon. There was the bakery that wouldn’t write “Trump 2016” on a cake. Who knew cakes were so controversial? Meanwhile, the world’s florists remain neutral.

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*First Published: Oct 24, 2016, 12:51 pm CDT