UK court rules bakery didn’t discriminate in ‘gay cake’ case

LONDON — Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court ruling and ruled that a bakery owned by a Christian family didn’t discriminate against a gay customer when it refused to make a cake bearing a slogan supporting same-sex marriage.

Ashers Baking Co. in Northern Ireland refused in 2014 to make a cake iced with the ‘‘Sesame Street’’ characters Bert and Ernie and the phrase ‘‘Support Gay Marriage.’’ The owners argued they shouldn’t be forced to put messages on their products at odds with their Christian beliefs. The high court agreed.

‘‘In a nutshell, the objection was to the message and not to any particular person or persons,’’ Judge Brenda Hale wrote in the unanimous decision.


The general manager of the bakery, Daniel McArthur, said he was relieved.

‘‘I want to start by thanking God,’’ he told reporters. ‘‘He has been with us during the challenges of the last four years.’’

The case was brought by the customer, gay rights activist Gareth Lee, and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

associated press