Date set for Ashers bakery 'gay cake' appeal

Date set for Ashers bakery 'gay cake' appeal

The Ashers bakery appeal against their guilty discrimination verdict for refusing to bake a cake with a pro-gay slogan on it will be heard next year.

The hearing will commence on February 3.

Earlier this year the family-owned firm was ordered to £500 in compensation to Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist who had asked for the cake to be made for a special event.

The Northern Ireland Equality Commission backed Mr Lee, who sued the bakery for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and political beliefs.

The cake, which was supposed depict Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie alongside the slogan 'Support Gay Marriage', was to be made to mark International Day Against Homophobia in May 2014.

 The bakery refused to bake the cake on the grounds that the message goes against their Christian beliefs.

The appeal will now be examined by the Court of Appeal, with Ashers' lawyers expected to argue that the bakery has protection under the European Convention on Human Rights.