Daniel McArthur speaks ahead of court ruling

Ashers bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy at an earlier court hearing
Ashers bakery owners Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy at an earlier court hearing

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast this morning, Daniel McArthur of Ashers Baking Company said: “More than two years have passed since our family business said it was not able to help campaigners who want to change the law on marriage in Northern Ireland.

“We have always said, and say again today, that whilst we are unwilling to endorse a view that goes against our conscience, we will continue to happily serve anyone who comes through our doors – whatever their background, lifestyle, or beliefs.

Daniel and Amy McArthur, owners of Ashers Baking Company

Daniel and Amy McArthur, owners of Ashers Baking Company

“This has never been about the customer. It has always been about a message promoting a cause that contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible on marriage. A message promoting a cause with which I and my family fundamentally disagree.

“We hope and pray that today, this Court will send a different sort of message – one which protects the freedom of people like us and of businesses like ours to remain faithful to their conscience.

“It won’t be much longer now until we all know its judgment, and after that we may be in a position to make some further comment.”

At 10am judgment is due to be delivered on an appeal brought by Christian bakers who were found to have discriminated against a gay man.

Ashers Baking Company is seeking to overturn a previous court ruling that they acted unlawfully when they refused to decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

The high-profile case was heard before three senior judges at Belfast’s Court of Appeal in May where it was claimed the outcome would have implications for freedom of expression across the UK.