Northern Irish Bakery Refuses to Bake Pro Gay Cake

This story has been all over the online tabloids in seems. There is a bakery in Northern Ireland who have point black refused to bake a cake for an LGBT rights organisation advocating for marriage equality. The indended cake would have had a picture of Bert and Earnie from Sesemy Street with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage"

But the general manager refused based on religious grounds

“We considered it, looked at it and decided that it was at odds with our beliefs and was in contradiction with what the Bible teaches. 

The company was founded by Christians, the current directors are Christians, that means that we run a business by Christian values and beliefs, based on what the Bible teaches. That also means for example that we don’t open on Sundays and we trade openly and honestly with people." -Daniel McArthur-

But the law in Northern Ireland is quite clear on its position regarding discrimination. The Equality Commission says that they are in breach of the stated law that prohibits discrimination in the provision of goods and services to people on the grounds of their sexuality. 

My feelings on this are quite simple, religion has no place in the business and it is simply unprofessional to being religion into a business that isn't connected with a church.

Full story is available at

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Comment by Nerdy Keith on July 8, 2014 at 2:26pm

@Kris I know right. It really takes the cake 

Comment by Alejandro M on July 8, 2014 at 2:58pm

Unfortunately your feelings or mine don't come into play here. It's a privately-owned business. You can't force the guy to go against his beliefs, however wrong they are. He is not in the right in that of course being anti-gay is completely preposterous, but he is in his right to do so. 

Comment by Freek on July 9, 2014 at 12:44am
I'm not sure if this falls under discrimination law. That would only be the case if the bakery refused to service a gay person at all. However, that is not what they seem to refuse.
Instead, they refuse to make certain creations (cakes) that clash with they beliefs and business model. And I think they are in their right to do so.

Would you expect a firmly Atheistic bakery (rare breed, I know) to create a cake showing the nativity scene, accompanied by the text: "pray to God, for he is absolute good"?
Comment by Geoff Boulton on July 9, 2014 at 6:53am

Order a cake which says 'Eat Shrimp'. If they are happy to bake that cake then obviously their objection is due to their bigotry and not that it contradicts their beliefs based upon the teachings in the bible.

Comment by Nerdy Keith on July 9, 2014 at 7:09am
Had this occurred in the US you might have a point. The equality laws in the UK and Northern Ireland are very different in these matters. Everyone has to abide by the laws, private buisness owner or otherwise and religion does not give one a free pass to do what you want. He broke the law, simple as that.
Comment by Davis Goodman on July 9, 2014 at 7:28am

@Alejandro and Freek ... no. When you set up a business the people of the city (through the municipality) give you a license to operate your store to serve the community. That means providing your service for everyone free of discrimination. This is especially the case when there are quite limited alternatives. Imagine if the only gas station in town wouldn't serve an Arab for religious reasons. Imagine if the only hair salon wouldn't take a customer because she was black.

While some people in the Southern States of the US might get away with this nonsense it is totally illegal in Western Europe and the libertarian excuse of "private business" won't fly. There is no such thing as a purely private business. If your store doesn't serve the community the license can and should be taken away.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on July 9, 2014 at 8:55am

The Equality Commission did not get involved because the Christians poor moral code prevented them from serving a member of the public. They got involved because the bakery openly discriminated against someone on the basis of sexual orientation, which is against the Law of state and which trumps the law of their god. Many of the Christians I have spoken with from the Belfast area are Young Earth Creationists or extreme Biblical literalists.

Video from them.


Comment by Strega on July 9, 2014 at 9:00am
Three years ago, my wife and I got married in Vermont. When we rang around to find a photographer, the first two that we called were initially receptive but when we explained that there was no groom, both of us being female, they recoiled in horror stating that they didn't believe in same sex marriage. They didn't cite religion, simply homophobia. I could probably have made a fuss about discrimination, but who wants a reluctant photographer at their wedding?

Same issue with a cake. Would you seriously trust the content of a cake baked reluctantly?
Comment by Gregg R Thomas on July 9, 2014 at 9:03am

I don't care for a lot of laws in my area, but if I choose to disobey them I have to pay the penalty when caught, the bakery folks got caught breaking the law.  Pay the price or spend your profits fighting it in court.  If they were in America they could just go to the SCOTUS and get a free pass, because doG believes in bigotry.

Comment by Erock68la on July 9, 2014 at 9:33am

I think they can set standards on the content of the decorations on their cakes.  That speaks directly to their professional integrity as bakers.  Should they be forced to make a cake with a giant swastika that says "Happy Birthday Hitler" or a cake with large bare breasts or a big throbbing penis on it?  No.  They can decide what kind of cake shop they want to be known as.

I think the discrimination comes in if they refuse to serve a gay person, for example, not if they refuse to decorate cakes outside their standards.  Of course, the bakery will have to endure the fallout if their decision is deemed as bigoted by the public.  


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