Christian Institute welcomes ‘heartening’ support ahead of Ashers’ appeal

Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) with wife Amy
Daniel McArthur (director of Ashers Bakery) with wife Amy

Support has “continued to pour in” for the Christian bakers at the centre of the so-called ‘gay cake’ row ahead of an appeal court hearing tomorrow, the Christian Institute has said.

In May last year, Ashers Baking Company general manager Daniel McArthur spoke of his family’s “extreme disappointment” at being found to have breached equality laws.

Although Ashers had refused to bake a cake with a message supporting same-sex marriage, they have always maintained their issue was with the slogan to be added - ‘support gay marriage’ – not with the sexual orientation of the customer, Gareth Lee.

Ashers, supported by the Christian Institute, appealed the original court decision and Thursday’s hearing will deal with legal technicalities ahead of a full appeal being heard on May 9.

Simon Calvert of the Institute said: “It is heartening that support continues to pour in for the McArthur family and the stand they have taken. In excess of 15,000 people have now signed our petition backing them.”

Mr Calvert added: “Some have attempted to portray this case as a minor business dispute. But what is really at stake here are fundamental principles – free thought, free speech and freedom from coercion by the state.

“The court is going to hear arguments from the Attorney General on why he believes the laws used against the McArthurs may be flawed. We will be able to comment on his arguments after the hearing following discussions with our own legal team.”