European court declines to take pro-gay marriage cake case
Unfortunately, with todays decision, that uncertainty will remain, he said.The Christian Institute, which had backed the legal fight of the McArthur family that runs Ashers Baking Co., welcomed the ruling, which a spokesman called good news for free speech, good news for Christians, and good news for the McArthurs. The UK Supreme Court engaged at length with the human rights arguments in this case and upheld the McArthurs rights to freedom of expression and religion, spokesman Simon Calvert said.
- United Kingdom
A top European court declined Thursday to rule in a high-profile discrimination case centered on an activist's request to have a cake decorated with the "Sesame Street" characters Bert and Ernie and the words "Support Gay Marriage." The European Court of Human Rights said the case was inadmissible because activist Gareth Lee had failed to "exhaust domestic remedies" in his case against a Northern Ireland bakery.
It was the latest ruling in a long-running legal battle that began in 2014 when Ashers Baking Co. refused to make the cake Lee wanted.
The owners argued they were happy to bake goods for anyone but would not put messages on their products at odds with their Christian beliefs.
Britain's Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the bakery's refusal did not amount to discrimination, reversing a lower court's ruling.
In a written ruling, the rights court said it could not rule because Lee had not raised the convention in his U.K. court actions.
"Because he had failed to exhaust domestic remedies, the application was inadmissible,'' the Court of Human Rights said. LGBTQ support group the Rainbow Project called the ruling disappointing.
"When a commercial business is providing services to the public, they cannot discriminate against their customers or clients on any grounds protected by equality law,'' John O'Doherty, the group's director, said.
The Christian Institute, which had backed the legal fight of the McArthur family that runs Ashers Baking Co., welcomed the ruling, which a spokesman called "good news for free speech, good news for Christians, and good news for the McArthurs." "The UK Supreme Court engaged at length with the human rights arguments in this case and upheld the McArthurs' rights to freedom of expression and religion,'' spokesman Simon Calvert said.''
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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- Simon Calvert
- “Sesame Street”
- The UK Supreme Court