Ashers ‘gay cake’ judgment could impact everyone’s freedoms: Christian Institute

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The outcome of the Ashers ‘gay cake’ case, which looks set to be decided upon this week, will have ramifications for the freedom of people right across the United Kingdom.

That is the view from the Christian Institute, which has backed the bakery in the long-running legal saga over its refusal to make a cake featuring the slogan “support gay marriage” and the logo of activist group QueerSpace.

Daniel McArthur of Ashers (left) with Simon Calvert from the Christian Institute

Daniel McArthur of Ashers (left) with Simon Calvert from the Christian Institute

The England-based Christian charity said that the Supreme Court, sitting in London, is set to rule on Ashers Baking Company’s appeal on Wednesday.

The judgment is due at 9.45am.

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Ashers Baking Company, will make a short statement immediately afterwards outside the court.

There was an initial case taken by the Equality Commission in county court in Belfast, which in 2015 ruled that Ashers had breached anti-discrimination law, and ordered that £500 compensation be paid.

The Court of Appeal, again in Belfast, rejected an appeal against this in 2016.

Now the Supreme Court will hand down its findings in the case.

Simon Calvert, deputy director for public affairs at The Christian Institute, said: “People from all walks of life support Ashers because they recognise their own freedom could be infringed in the same way.”

He added that if the original county court ruling stands, then it “opens the doors to all kinds of people being forced by law to promote all kinds of ideas; this is compelled speech and it is wrong”.