The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland welcomes the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in favour of the Asher’s Bakery (run by the MacArthur family), delivered on Wednesday 10th October 2018.
Asher’s Bakery contended throughout the legal process that they did not have a policy of refusing to provide goods and services to certain sections of the public on the basis of their sexual orientation, religious belief and political opinion and that their refusal to produce a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan was on the basis that the slogan conflicted with their Christian beliefs.
The judgment confirms that Asher’s Bakery did not discriminate against Mr Lee on the basis of his sexual orientation, religious belief or political opinion. As stated by Lady Hale, the president of the Supreme Court ‘Their objection was to the message on the cake not to the personal characteristics of Mr Lee’, ‘They would have refused to make such a cake for any customer, irrespective of their sexual orientation’.
On this occasion the right to the exercise of Christian conscience in business has been protected, but in other cases it has not. We commend the patient endurance shown by the MacArthur family, which has been a powerful example and witness. We are thankful for organisations such as the Christian Institute who have provided much needed support to the Asher’s Bakery in their legal defence. We are thankful for the significant number of Christians attending meetings (locally and in the mainland UK) organised by the Christian Institute to raise awareness and show support to the MacArthur family and others like them. Above all we are thankful that God is in control even when his people are ostracised, publicly shamed and persecuted for their beliefs. We are thankful for the assurance that God will guard, guide, comfort and sustain us when we are under attack for His cause. We remain prayerful for all God’s people facing public threat and opposition on account of their exercise of religious beliefs and we continue to pray for enlightenment of hearts and minds to the need of salvation in Christ alone.