Freedom of religious beliefs? Ha! Gay rights trump religious ones! McArthur Family above (r.a. note)
PRESS TV Posted Fri., Eve., May 29, 2015
Christian family who refused to make a pro-gay marriage cake because of their religious beliefs, have said they will appeal court decision made against them.
The McArthur family who run Ashers bakery in Northern Ireland say that “after much careful and prayerful consideration given to legal advice, we have decided to appeal the judgment handed down last Tuesday. “We continue to insist that we have done nothing wrong as we have discriminated against no individual, but rather acted according to what the Bible teaches regarding marriage.”
Last week, a Belfast court found that customer Gareth Lee had been discriminated against on the grounds of his sexual orientation and ordered to pay £500.
Lee had wanted to order a sponge cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan on it, but the bakery refused. His legal action against the bakery was backed by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission, who paid almost £39,000 in legal fees.
The commission paid almost £39,000 in legal fees.
In court, the judge accepted that Ashers has “genuine and deeply held” religious views, but said the business was not above the law and was “conducting a business for profit”, not a religious group.
After the ruling, the McArthur family said they were “extremely disappointed with the judgment”. “We’ve said from the start that our issue was with the message on the cake, not with the customer and that we didn’t know what the sexual orientation of Mr Lee was, and it wasn’t relevant either.”
“We’ve always been happy to serve any customers who come into our shops. The ruling suggests that all business owners will have to be willing to promote any cause or campaign, no matter how much they disagree with it.” They added.
The case has sparked debate in Northern Ireland, especially as it coincides with the Republic of Ireland’s historic vote to allow gay marriage.
Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has tweeted saying the “Ashers bakery judgement a good result for equality, gay people have for far too long been discriminated against. We and the law on their side.”
However, DUP MLA Paul Givan said many Christians would view the ruling as “an attack” on their religious convictions.
“What we cannot have is a hierarchy of rights, and today there’s a clear hierarchy being established that gay rights are more important than the rights of people to hold religious beliefs,” Mr Givan added.