A two-day hearing has been scheduled for October with the McArthur family signalling that the move was positive in that the Supreme Court was prepared to set aside significant time to fully hear all the arguments in what has been an extremely high profile case.
In the autumn of 2016 the Northern Ireland bakery lost their appeal against a ruling that their refusal to make a ‘gay cake’ was discriminatory. Appeal court judges said at the time that, under law, the bakers were not allowed to provide a service only to people who agreed with their religious beliefs.
Clarified the law
Michael Wardlow, from the Equality Commission, said at the time that the appeal court ruling against Ashers bakery was extremely significant and clarified the law. ‘The judgement today was very clear. It said unequivocally, faith is important, but faith cannot set aside equality legislation that has been long fought,’ he said.
The issue arose some two and a half years ago, the family-run firm refused to make a cake iced with the slogan: ‘Support Gay Marriage’. The order was placed at its Belfast shop by gay rights activist Gareth Lee and the Christian owners of the bakery refused to provide the goods.