Rainbow Project says bakery that wouldn’t make ‘gay marriage’ cake should have apologised

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Northern Ireland’s only health project for gay and bisexual men has said the row over the refusal to bake a “gay cake” could have just been settled with an apology.

In July, Asher’s Baking Company – based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland – refused the request of a gay rights activist for a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ above an image of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.

The Commission later found that this act broke anti-discrimination laws, and called for the bakery to apologise, but its manager vowed to instead “make a stand”.

John O’Doherty, director of the Rainbow Project, said: “The Equality Commission asked for an apology, they asked for recognition that it wouldn’t happen again.

“There’s going to be a court case around this, and this is going to get a lot more public attention and the discussions that are going to be held are going to be ‘us versus them’ and we have already seen that quite a lot.

“The reality is that we need to address the very serious issues that exist within our society around discrimination.”

This week, the Commission warned in a 16-page legal letter that the bakery will face legal action if it does not settle the case soon.