Thursday 23 March 2017

Gay cake appeal delayed until May

Lesley-Ann McKeown

Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Baking Company. Photo: PA
Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Baking Company. Photo: PA

An appeal by Christian bakers at the centre of the so-called 'gay cake' discrimination battle has been adjourned for three months.

It follows a last-minute intervention by the North's Attorney General John Larkin QC.

Last year Ashers Baking Company, run by the McArthur family, was found to have discriminated against a customer for refusing to bake a cake decorated with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

Two days had been set aside for the appeal - but proceedings at Belfast's High Court were dramatically halted yesterday.

It emerged that Mr Larkin wanted to address any potential conflict between local equality legislation and European human rights laws.

Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan, who was due to hear the high-profile case with two other senior judges, expressed frustration but said the case could not go ahead at this stage.

He told the packed courtroom it was important that the case progressed to hearing "expeditiously".

The case has been adjourned until May 9.

Irish Independent

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