The last time Ashers Bakery in Belfast refused to bake a cake with a pro same-sex marriage message, they were taken to court and found guilty of discrimination based on sexual discrimination.
Two years later and the Christian bakers have remained undeterred—cancelling an order for an engagement cake that was to bear the message: “Gay marriage rocks! Happy engagement, Andy and Joe! Lots of love xxx”.
Customer Grainne McCann said that her initial online order and payment was accepted but received a cancellation note and refund the next day, Pink News reports.
“My gut instinct told me the cake was refused because it celebrated gay marriage,” said McCann.
She had previously ordered a cake from Ashers for her goddaughter’s christening and says she had a completely different experience with the bakery.
“I felt angry and sad that Ashers’ attitude to gay people is so different,” she said.
Daniel and Amy McArthur—the husband and wife team that run the bakery—have not made any comment as to why they refused to make the engagement cake.
The Ashers website Terms and Conditions say customers may not send images that are “defamatory, blasphemous or pornographic… or likely to incite hatred against any person or group…or breach any applicable law.”
The bakery’s previous lawsuit was paid for by the Christian Institute, an anti-LGBT+ organisation—yet multiple courts have upheld the decision made against them.
Northern Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said: “The reason that the order was cancelled was that the appellants would not provide a cake with a message supporting a right to marry for those of a particular sexual orientation.
“This was a case of association with the gay and bisexual community and the protected personal characteristic was the sexual orientation of that community.
“Accordingly this was direct discrimination.”
McCann says she was initially “staggered” by the refusal but was happy to find a new bakery that made the requested cake “with love”.