The Gay Cake Dilemma

Author:Giambrone Law ILP
Profession:Giambrone
 
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Across the globe there appears to be a legal quandary as to whether one legal right trumps another legal right, mainly that of religious expression v sexual orientation discrimination.  This issue is being fought out in the surprising arena of bakeries.  In Northern Ireland Asher's bakery, with the financial support of the Christian Institute, is attempting to overturn an award of £500 made against them for refusing to fulfil and order placed by gay activist Gareth Lee sporting images of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street with the slogan "support gay marriage" written across it.  The bakery has already, on two previous occasions, been found to have been guilty of sexual orientation discrimination related to this matter.  Five appeal court judges will be hearing the appeal in Belfast. 

Same sex marriage is not recognised in Northern Ireland and an attempt to create legal recognition was sabotaged by the Democratic Unionist party using its power of veto and has since fallen by the wayside.  Theresa May refuses to force Stormont to legalise the status of same-sex marriage stating that it is a "devolved matter" and would be dealt with soon, presumably be Stormont, despite the lack of an executive and assembly. 

This issue is replicated in both California and Colorado in America where extremely similar issues are in front of the courts.  The owner of Tastries bakery, Cathy Miller, argued that she would be "very happy to serve everything from my cases to anybody", however, she could not "be a part of a celebration that goes against my lord and saviour" and therefore she could not make the cake as it violated her Christian beliefs and free religious expression.  Ms. Miller's comments echo the general manager of Asher's, the Northern Ireland bakery, Daniel McArthur who stated "We happily serve everyone but we cannot...

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