All across the supposedly more conservative United States of America, courts continue to insist it is “discrimination” to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding. But one court just ruled the opposite way and said that it is not discrimination to refuse to bake a cake for gay people and just where that case took place will surprise you.
Europe and the U.K. is generally assumed to be far more left-wing than the U.S.A. but the highest court in Britain just ruled that refusing a gay couple’s demand to bake a cake is not illegal discrimination.
The story comes from The Daily Signal:
The U.K. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Wednesday that the Northern Ireland-based family bakery, Ashers Baking Co., did not discriminate against a gay customer in 2014 by refusing to make the cake.
The cake’s icing was to include the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie and the slogan “Support Gay Marriage,” according to a report by the BBC.
Daniel and Amy McArthur, the married owners of the Belfast bakery, argued in court that they could not produce products with messages that go against their Christian faith.
Gareth Lee, the customer, sued the bakery on the grounds that its owners discriminated against him based on his sexual orientation and political beliefs.
Lee is, of course, a gay “rights” activist and he took his fake cake idea to the bakery with the sole purpose of making a legal case out of their expected refusal.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland sided with the radical, hate-filled gay man and ruled that the bakery was breaking the law by refusing to bake the cake. But the bakery owners didn’t just buckle and accept the ruling and instead took their claim to court.
The case has not been without cost to the bakery:
So far the case has cost the bakery around 200,000 pounds (about $264,000). The Christian Institute, a charity and lobbying group, is paying the bakery’s legal expenses.
“I know a lot of people will be glad to hear this ruling today, because this ruling protects freedom of speech and freedom of conscience for everyone,” Daniel McArthur told BBC News.
McArthur has said his bakery took issue with the requested slogan and not Lee’s sexual orientation or political beliefs.
“The U.K. Supreme Court recognized that artists and other professionals don’t discriminate when they object ‘to the message, not the messenger,’” Kristen Waggoner, vice president of the organization’s U.S. legal division, said in a press release provided to The Daily Signal.
“The court also affirmed the fundamental freedom of Ashers Bakery’s owners to decline to express through one of their cakes ‘a message with which they deeply disagreed,’” Waggoner said.
It is interesting that left-wing Britain, where there is no presumption of free speech, Christians have more rights to free speech than in the one country on earth where freedom of speech and freedom of religion are enshrined in its founding documents.
Well, maybe sad, or infuriating, instead of just interesting.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.