The Great Irish Bake-Off

Pitt, Gwyneth (2016) The Great Irish Bake-Off. In: Cardiff Festival for Law and Religion; 5-6 May 2016, Cardiff, U.K.. (Unpublished)


In May 2015, the NI County Court held that a bakery discriminated against a gay man by refusing to supply him with a cake iced with, “Support Gay Marriage”. The owners of the bakery, committed Christians, refused because they believe that marriage must be heterosexual. An appeal to NICA, backed by the Christian Institute, was adjourned in early February to May 2016. How should NICA decide this case? It is the most recent in a line of cases where the right to freedom of religion, has come into conflict with the law which prohibits discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, including Ladele ,McFarlane, Bull v Hall and Black v Wilkinson. However, the issue is not just about potential clashes between religious beliefs and the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of sexual orientation. The battleground could be between religious belief and sex, or disability (remember Glenn Hoddle). The added ingredient in the Ashers Bakery case is the right to freedom of expression. Additional questions arise: – should customers be allowed to discriminate? – can companies have religious beliefs? – what is meant by comparing like with like? This paper aims to consider the issues and to suggest how they might be resolved.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page