U.K. court sides with bakery; future ruling still awaits in U.S.

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chris Woodward, Billy Davis (OneNewsNow.com)

Ashers Bakery cakeThe highest court in the United Kingdom has ruled in favor of a Christian-owned bakery chain in a case that mirrors similar legal battles in the United States.

The five justices on the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Asher's, located in Northern Ireland, which refused in 2014 to design a cake with Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and the words, "Support Gay Marriage."

A homosexual rights activist, Gareth Lee, ordered the cake and sued for discrimination, with help from an equality commission, when Asher's refused.

Asher's has lost several court cases over four years, including an appeal, but the Supreme Court announced its decision on Oct. 10.

Lady Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court, told the BBC that the court agreed Asher's turned down Lee's order due to the message, not because Lee is a homosexual customer.

Ashers Baking Co (N. Ireland) 620x300The bakery "would have refused to make such a cake for any customer, irrespective of their sexual orientation," Hale said of the court's finding.

"We didn't say no because of the customer," Daniel McArthur, the bakery's general manager, told reporters earlier this year. "We'd served him before, we'd serve him again."

The U.K. ruling suggests its highest court supports the fundamental right of religious liberty, Hiram Sasser, general counsel at First Liberty Institute, tells OneNewsNow.

"Governments should not be able to force people to express a message," he says, "that violates their religious beliefs."  

The legal finding in the Asher's case mirrors the claims of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who ran afoul of that state's civil rights commission when his Masterpiece Cakeshop turned down a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Phillips, who won a narrow Supreme Court ruling in June after losing in lower courts, has repeatedly said he has refused to create bawdy bachelor party cakes and Halloween cakes with demonic images.

Masterpiece Cakeshop (entrance)"I don't discriminate against anybody. I serve everybody that comes in my shop,” Phillips told NBC News earlier this year. “I don't create cakes for every message that people ask me to create."

A second similar case in the U.S. case involves a Kentucky print shop, where owner Blaine Adamson was sued after refusing to create a T-shirt design for a gay pride event. His business has turned down other print orders, such as racist themes and a strip club, that he didn't want to be associated with.

Homosexual rights activists and their legal allies, however, continue suing Christian business owners and keep piling up wins in lower courts with their legal claims of discrimination.

Despite the expectation of a landmark ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Supreme Court found the Colorado Civil Rights Commission treated Phillips unfairly due to his religious faith in a 7-2 ruling described as "narrow" by legal analysts. That ruling left unsettled the discrimination-versus-religious liberty debate in the U.S. that has swept up bakers, florists, photographers, bed-and-breakfast owners, and even apple farmers.   

U.S. Supreme CourtSasser tells OneNewsNow that First Liberty is currently asking the high court to review the case of the Kleins, the Oregon husband and wife who refused to create a same-sex wedding cake.

In the U.S. system of government, the attorney says, the judicial branch is where a Christian business owner can go to fight for and demand their religious rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

"People just have to be prepared to slug it out with the government," he says, "in order to eventually, hopefully achieve victory."

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.



We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details




What's your reaction to Kamala Harris' idea for monthly cash payments that she describes as a 'tax cut'?





Caravan migrants break Guatemala border fence, rush Mexico
Trump revives fiery immigration talk for 'caravan' election
Saudis blame 'fistfight' for Jamal Khashoggi's death
Alaska's independent governor drops re-election bid
Man arrested for threats that closed Kentucky school system
Hurricane Michael damages $3 billion in timber
Turkey probes whether Khashoggi remains taken from consulate


Nancy Pelosi harassed by protesters after calling for 'collateral damage' against Republicans
Jamal Khashoggi, missing activist and writer, killed in fight, Saudi state media report
'Death threats' against restaurant owner who hosted GOP candidate
The minimum wage and real-world examples of how it destroys jobs, hurts workers
Almost 1/2 of U.S. births happen outside marriage


Cartoon of the Day


MO drops licensing law appealed to high court

Sorry, we're closedMissouri has repealed a regulation requiring a government license to braid hair, mooting a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the requirement.