Poll backing for Ashers

A new opinion poll has confirmed overwhelming public support in Great Britain for Ashers Baking Company over the controversial ‘gay cake’ case.

The survey of 2,000 adults revealed almost two-thirds of voters – 65 per cent – back the Belfast-based company which refused to bake a cake with the words ‘support gay marriage’ inscribed on it.

Asked if Ashers should have been taken to court, more than six in 10 (65 per cent) said they should not, while just one in six (16 per cent) said they should.

The survey by ComRes was for the Coalition for Marriage, which consists of faith and secular groups. Pollsters asked about eight scenarios where a business owner could face legal action for following their beliefs but most of those asked concluded that business owners should not face court action. The results of the poll mirror similar results of previous Northern Ireland-only polls.

Dr Sharon James from the Coalition for Marriage, said the poll showed the current law is “out of step with mainstream public opinion”.

She added: “This survey is a real eye-opener. It shows that the majority of people believe that businessmen and women who hold religious or philosophical beliefs should not face being sued for declining to provide services that promote the views of those they fundamentally disagree with.”