Louise Butler

The owners of Ashers Bakery have won their appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

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Claims of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, political opinion and religious belief were brought against the owners of the bakery because they refused to sell Mr Lee, a gay customer, a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage.” The County Court and Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland found against the bakery and held that Mr Lee had been discriminated against.

Today however five Justices of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Mr and Mrs McArthur, the owners of the bakery, did not discriminate against him.

The Court held that the bakers did not refuse the order because of the sexual orientation of the customer,  rather they refused the order because of the message on the cake:  “they would have refused to make such a cake for any customer, irrespective of their sexual orientation.” It remains the case that a supplier cannot refuse to supply a cake because someone is gay or because they support gay marriage.

In the circumstances of this particular case, it said: “The objection was to the message, not the messenger”.

The Court further found that, under Articles 9 and 10 of European Convention on Human Rights, the McArthurs had the right not to be forced to express a religious belief that they did not believe.

The effects of this decision will be felt most greatly in the commercial sphere – by both the customer and service provider.

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Orla McElroy
2 months ago by Orla McElroy
We secured the dismiss of a fraudulent claim at Newtownards County Court on 14/09/2018. The Plaintiff was involved in a low-speed impact in July 2016 as a result of which he claimed he had been unable to work since due to back pain.   We were able to introduce evidence of the very low speed of impact and evidence that the Plaintiff had actually hurt his back months before playing football. The Judge ruled he was not satisfied that the Plaintiff was credible (the Plaintiff could offer no explanation for why he told his medical expert, that he was “free from physical complaint prior to the subject accident”  and then admitted under cross-examination that he had sustained a back injury playing football a few months before the accident and had ongoing back pain at the time of the motor ...