Belfast Bakery Was Free to Refuse Gay-Marriage Cake, Court Rules

By Ed O’Loughlin

DUBLIN — Britain’s Supreme Court supported on Wednesday the right of a Belfast bakery to refuse to bake a cake with a message supporting same-sex marriage, finding that its Christian owners could not be compelled to reproduce a message contrary to their beliefs.

Although the person who requested the cake was gay, a five-judge panel found that the bakery owners’ refusal was based not on his sexual orientation, but on their Protestant faith’s opposition to gay marriage.

“There was no discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation,” said the judgment, which overturned the rulings of two lower courts.

It cited the United States Supreme Court’s decision in June in favor of a Colorado baker who had refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple, a narrow decision that left open the larger question of whether a business can discriminate against gay men and lesbians based on First Amendment rights.

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