London, UK : The UK Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Christian bakery owners did not discriminate against a gay customer when they refused to make a cake supporting same-sex marriage.
Mr. Lee, a gay rights activist, brought a claim against Ashers Baking Company, located in Northern Ireland, after the bakery refused to make a cake iced with the words “Support Gay Marriage.” After the bakery initially took the order, they informed Lee that they could “not in conscience produce such a cake.”
Judge Brenda Hale said that the bakery’s “objection was to the message on the cake, not any personal characteristics of the messenger.” In the opinion, Hale acknowledged the “very real problem of discrimination against gay people,” but did not believe Lee was the victim of discrimination.
“It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics. But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favors to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”
The bakery owners appealed to the Supreme Court after lower courts ruled the refusal of service was discriminatory. The case was the first ever case to be heard in Northern Ireland by Britain’s Supreme Court.