Bakery that refused homophobic cake order cleared of discrimination

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A bakery that refused to bake a cake branding gay weddings a ‘perversion’ has been cleared of wrongdoing.

The case arose in the Republic of Ireland, when a Dublin bakery rejected an order for a cake bearing a long anti-gay slogan.

The requested message had called for the country’s same-sex marriage law to be repealed, branding equal marriage a “perversion”.

The customer then deliberately filed a discrimination complaint, in an attempt to draw a parallel with a case in Northern Ireland where a bakery owner was punished for refusing to print a pro-gay message.

Rainbow cake

However, he has quickly found out that while sexuality is a protected characteristic under anti-discrimination laws, there’s no such protections for homophobia.

The Workplace Relations Commission today ruled that the bakery did not fall foul of discrimination rules when it declined the request, despite the man’s claims that the treatment was religious discrimination.

The commission ruled: ”The complainant must prove that he has been treated less favourably than another person because of his religious beliefs.

“I do not believe that prima facie evidence was heard to prove that the Complainant’s order was refused because of his religious beliefs and/or that the Respondent refused to make this cake because the Complainant is a Christian.

“Accordingly, the complaint fails.”

According to The Journal, the complainant had insisted: “Why should the law favour people of a gay orientation and not deal with me the same way? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

The bakery had long maintained that the case was frivolous, and that the order was primarily rejected as there was no vacancy for bespoke cakes.

The newspaper notes that the “lengthy, oppressive and aggressive communications” from the complainant had impacted staff at the bakery.

Northern Ireland bakery, Ashers Bakery in Belfast, was originally found guilty of unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation and political or religious grounds.

The company in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland refused to bake a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ above an image of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.

The bakers claimed in a legal brief that God considers it a sin to make cakes with pro-gay messages on, but multiple courts upheld the decision against them.