RESEARCH NOTE

The researcher applied qualitative research methodology by analyzing the case holding and the facts. The case is no whether the refusal of Ashers Bakery- a Christian based bakery to make a cake iced with the slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’  amounted to discrimination based on grounds of sexual orientation and religious belief. The judgments of the County Court and the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal ruled that the actions of the business breached the equality law and amounted to unlawful discrimination. However, the Supreme Court disagreed with the judgments of the lower courts by including in their findings that religious belief discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination must be directed towards a person. Ashers Bakery refused to write a slogan of the cake, they were against the message ‘Support Gay Marriages’ that was to be written on the cake and not Lee, the respondent. The Court further elaborated that commercial businesses have the freedom to refuse to offer a service if they believe that the service requires them to express a message that they disagree with profoundly in line with freedom of conscience, thought, religion and freedom of expression.

 Further, the Court reaffirmed that a business should not discriminate someone based on their sexual orientation or because they support a cause that the service provider does not conform with. If the service does not involve the business giving an opinion or expression, then treating a customer differently can amount to discrimination,

Finally, the Supreme Court vouched its support for gay people and acknowledged that they face real problems of discrimination. Moreover, the Supreme Court stated that it will continue to advocate for equality on grounds of sexual orientation.

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