DUP MLA Paul Givan: ‘Gay cake’ row ruling is not what Northern Ireland wants

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A DUP politician has said he thinks the people of Northern Ireland are disappointed in a ruling that a Christian bakery unlawfully discriminated by refusing to make a pro-same-sex marriage cake.

The owners of Ashers Bakery in Belfast were today found guilty of unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation and political or religious grounds.

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

Paul Givan, a DUP member of the Northern Irish Assembly, spoke after the ruling to say that he thought there was huge disappointment in the judgement and that it was an assault on faith.

He asked: “Are we going to drag other families through the courts because of their deeply held religious beliefs?”

“Are Christians going to be dragged through the courts? I don’t believe the people of Northern Ireland want that,” he went on.

Continuing, Givan said: “The equality commission should apologise. I hope this case will be appealed.”

First Minister Peter Robinson earlier this year lambasted the Equality Commission for spending funds to pursue the case.

In response to the row, the Democratic Unionist Party has introduced a bill that would exempt religious people from equality laws.