“This court holds that there was no discrimination on the ground of the sexual orientation of Mr Lee.”
The Supreme Court have ruled in favour of a homophobic bakery who refused to make a wedding cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”.
In 2014, the Christian owners of Ashers bakery in Belfast turned away gay rights activist Gareth Lee, citing the message as “inconsistent” with their religious beliefs.
Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Hodge and Lady Black from the Supreme Court ruled that the bakery’s refusal to make a wedding cake supporting same-sex marriage was not discriminatory.
“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,” Hale said in the judgment.
“But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”
She added: “The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.
“Accordingly, this court holds that there was no discrimination on the ground of the sexual orientation of Mr Lee.”
After losing the case, Lee said: “I’m very confused about what this actually means. We need certainty when you go to a business. I’m concerned that this has implications for myself and for every single person.”
He later said the court’s ruling made him feel like a “second class citizen”.