News

'Gay Cake' Update

In November 2018 we reported on the case of the bakery who refused to supply a cake with the words “Support Gay Marriage” iced on the top due to the conflict of the message with their religious beliefs and employer’s were advised to ensure that discrimination policies were up to date and any complaints investigated promptly and thoroughly.

In the case of the so-called ‘gay cake’, the Supreme Court found in the bakery’s favour ruling that the bakery’s refusal was based solely on their objection to the cake’s message and not on the cake purchaser’s sexual orientation and was therefore not discriminatory.

The Court accepted that the bakery would have still served Mr Lee or any other homosexual individual a different cake and would not have baked a cake with the message “Support Gay Marriage” for any heterosexual individual either. The bakery had invoked their right to not express a particular opinion and there was thus no discrimination on the grounds of political opinion either.

Belfast human rights law firm Phoenix Law confirmed last month that it had been instructed by Gareth Lee to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision by taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Lee’s legal team position is that the Supreme Court ruling should be overturned because baking the cake did not imply “the bakery supporting (expressly or implicitly) the message of the cake”.

Lee’s lawyer Ciaran Moynagh said: “We’re concerned the ruling in this case allows any company, its shareholders or owners to hold religious or political views and those views trump the rights of its customers. The supreme court ruling blurred the line, created legal uncertainty for all of us in Northern Ireland and the ECHR is the appropriate place to clarify this issue.”

Employers should therefore continue to ensure that policies are up to date and to watch this space as to how this matter progresses.

Posted on 5 September, 2019 by Ortolan

Get in Touch

If you would like to know more about Ortolan Legal and how we can help you reduce your ongoing recruitment costs, get in touch!

Email us now

   Or call 020 3743 0600

I have worked with Ortolan Legal since 2010 and used their services extensively. They have provided corporate and commercial legal advice and we have also drawn on their capability in the areas of employment law, dispute resolution and property law. What makes them so different is their ability consistently to deliver commercially focussed and high quality advice at a price point which simply cannot be matched by other law firms. They aim to strip out unnecessary overhead costs, concentrate on the quality of their core service and pass on these cost savings to their clients. It works.

Charlie Blackburn, Entrepreneur and co-founder of Brighttalk
See All
Receive news & updates from Ortolan Legal

Meet the Team

  • Nick Benson Nick Benson I qualified as a commercial and corporate solicitor…
  • Liz Delgado Liz Delgado I qualified as a solicitor in 1995 after studying…
  • Jude Mladek Jude Mladek I graduated with a law degree in 1998 and after…