A CHRISTIAN bakery owner has been threatened with legal action
by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission for refusing to bake a
cake with the slogan on it "Support gay marriage".
The customer who made the complaint, a gay-rights activist, took
the case to the Commission, which has now written to the family-run
Ashers Baking Company, Belfast, threatening action for alleged
discrimination unless compensation is offered to the
The general manager of the bakery, Daniel McArthur, said: "It
feels like a David and Goliath battle because, on one hand, we have
the Equality Commission, who are a public body - they're funded by
taxpayers' money, they have massive resources at their disposal -
whereas we are a small family business, and we have limited
resources at our disposal.
"We're continuing to hold to the stand that we took originally
because we believe it's biblical; we believe it's what God would
want us to do, and we also think that if we do cave in to the
Equality Commission at this point, it'll put pressure on other
citizens who are defending their view of traditional marriage."
He said that many Christian support-groups had backed Ashers'
stance in the gay-marriage issue in Northern Ireland, where the
Stormont Assembly has repeatedly rejected attempts to change the
law in order to allow same-sex marriage.
A spokesman for the Equality Commission confirmed that a letter
had been sent to the bakery, warning that a civil bill would be
issued if the company did not pay "modest compensation" to the
complainant, and give assurances that there would be no repetition
of the alleged breach.