You may have heard that the McArthur family, who run Ashers Baking Company in Northern Ireland, are committed Christians. When they were asked to bake a cake bearing the slogan "Support gay marriage," they declined, as the slogan was against their deeply held beliefs.
They were taken to court in Belfast by the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland (with £40,000 of public funds), accused of discrimination.
Judge Isobel Brownlie upheld the Equality Commission. She accepted that Ashers had "genuine and deeply held" religious views, but they were conducting a business for profit and were not a religious group. They had unlawfully discriminated against the plaintiff - homosexual activist Gareth Lee - on grounds of sexual discrimination.
Daniel McArthur, Ashers' general manager, said they were extremely disappointed. "The ruling suggests that all business owners will have to be willing to promote any cause or campaign, no matter how much they disagree with it. Or as the Equality Commission has suggested, they should perhaps just close down, and that can't be right."
They are considering an appeal.
I am delighted to see that a petition has been started asking Tesco to continue selling products from Ashers bakery. (Homosexuals, in their usual mean-spirited fashion, are evidently trying to close Ashers on their own.) You can see the petition here.