Cancelled Alice
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#1
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#1
Imagine, you could have just gone to another bakers or just piped the message yourself. Who on earth would want a homophobes service so bad that they spend 7 years dragging the case through the courts?

A gay rights activist has lost a seven-year discrimination dispute over a cake order as the European Court of Human Rights ruled his case inadmissible.
Gareth Lee started legal action back in 2014 after a Christian-run Belfast bakery refused to make him a cake with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage".
The family firm Ashers said the slogan contravened their Christian beliefs.
The European court ruled Mr Lee's case inadmissible, saying he had failed to exhaust all options in the UK courts.
The Belfast man has long argued that by refusing to fulfil his order, the bakery had discriminated against him on grounds of his sexual orientation and political beliefs.
He won his original case and a subsequent appeal in the UK courts, but in 2018 the UK Supreme Court disagreed with the lower courts and found in favour of the bakery.
Mr Lee then took his case to the European Court of Human Rights, where it was examined by seven judges who decided, by majority, that it should be dismissed.
The long-running dispute has raised questions about religious freedom and discrimination law.
'Gay cake' row: Q&A
Cake row referred to European Court
In their ruling on Thursday, the judges said the case was inadmissible because Mr Lee had not invoked his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights "at any point in the domestic proceedings" in the UK courts.
The judges decided that in order for a complaint to be admissible, "the Convention arguments must be raised explicitly or in substance before the domestic authorities".

Media caption,
BBC News NI looks at the key dates in the "gay cake" case
"By relying solely on domestic law, the applicant had deprived the domestic courts of the opportunity to address any Convention issues raised, instead asking the court to usurp the role of the domestic courts.
"Because he had failed to exhaust domestic remedies, the application was inadmissible," said the ruling.
Mr Lee expressed disappointment that his case had been dismissed on a "technicality".
"None of us should be expected to have to figure out the beliefs of a company's owners before going into their shop or paying for their services," he said.
"Everyone has freedom of expression and it must equally apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people," he added.
"I am most frustrated that the core issues did not get fairly analysed and adjudicated upon because of a technicality."
The baking firm has so far declined to comment on the latest ruling.
A lesser person?
The case began in 2014, when Mr Lee visited a Belfast branch of Ashers Bakery, and asked them to bake a cake decorated with the gay marriage slogan.
Gareth Lee at an earlier court appearance
IMAGE SOURCE, GETTY IMAGE/CHARLES MCQUILLAN
Image caption,
Gareth Lee said he was frustrated that the case had been dismissed on a "technicality"
At the time, same-sex marriage was still illegal in Northern Ireland, but the law has since changed and same-sex weddings have been taking place since February 2020.
The cake Mr Lee requested was to feature an image of Bert and Ernie, two characters from the children's TV programme Sesame Street, and the logo of the campaign group, QueerSpace.
Mr Lee paid £36.50 for a cake and left the shop, but a few days later, bakery staff called him to say they could not complete the order because of the slogan and would refund his money.
Ashers Baking Company is run by the McArthurs, a Christian family from County Antrim.
Mr Lee said the decision to refuse his order had made him feel "unworthy" and a "lesser person".
He complained to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, who supported him in taking a discrimination case against the bakery.
Ashers fought the case, arguing they had not turned Mr Lee's custom away because he was gay, but because he had asked them to produce something that was contrary to their religious beliefs.
grey line
What is the European Court of Human Rights?
The European Court of Human Rights is the court of law of the Council of Europe, an organisation founded in the aftermath of World War Two to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
The Council of Europe has 47 member states including the UK and is separate from the 27-state European Union.
The court, which sits in Strasbourg in France, was set up in 1959 and ensures that member states of the Council of Europe respect the rights and guarantees set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.
It has 47 judges - one from each country - but only a small number rule on each case.
Individuals can take cases against states, alleging that the state violated their rights under the convention.
States can also sue other states, although this is very rare.
grey line
Closure or more uncertainty?
There has been a mixed reaction to the ECHR ruling from Christian organisations and LGTB rights groups who had campaigned on opposite sides of the debate.
Simon Calvert from the Christian Institute said it was the right result and "good news for free speech, good news for Christians, and good news for the McArthurs".
The Christian Institute has supported the family in defending their baking company against Mr Lee's legal action since 2014.
"The UK Supreme Court engaged at length with the human rights arguments in this case and upheld the McArthurs' rights to freedom of expression and religion. It was disappointing to see another attempt to undermine those rights, so it is a relief that the attempt has failed," Mr Calvert said.
Amy and Daniel McArthur after their UK Supreme Court victory in 2018
IMAGE SOURCE, GETTY IMAGES/LEON NEAL
Image caption,
Amy and Daniel McArthur photographed after their UK Supreme Court victory in 2018
However, the Rainbow Project, a Belfast-based gay rights campaign group, said the UK Supreme court decision had created legal uncertainty for LGBT people when accessing goods and services and Thursday's ECHR ruling had not resolved that uncertainty.
"The Rainbow Project affirms our fundamental belief in freedom of religion for all people, however this freedom cannot be extrapolated into privately-owned business and used as a justification for discrimination," said its director John O'Doherty.
Fellow LGBT campaign group Stonewall also said Thursday's ECHR decision "leaves the door open for legal uncertainty across the UK and causes continued unease for our communities".
"Our thoughts are with Gareth Lee, who deserved more support from the European courts after seven years of working towards equality," said Stonewall's chief executive Nancy Kelley.
Mr Lee's lawyer, Ciaran Moynagh, said the ruling was a missed opportunity, and that Mr Lee was considering whether a fresh case could be pursued in the UK.
"Today's decision means that the law here in Northern Ireland remains in a state of uncertainty as to how persons' rights can be protected," said Mr Moynagh, of Phoenix Law.
"Owners of limited companies have long taken advantage of being able to separate themselves financially from their business."
"We continue to believe they should also keep their political and religious views separate. When a general service is offered, it must be offered without favour or prejudice," the lawyer added.
However, Peter Tatchell, a prominent LGBT rights campaigner, said he strongly disagreed with Ashers opposition to same-sex marriage and had "great sympathy for Mr Lee but that he did not believe Ashers had discriminated against him.
"If the judgement had gone the other way, a gay baker could have been forced by law to accede to requests to decorate cakes with messages opposing LGBT+ equality," he said.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-59882444

wTGBnn_B-hc

To be clear, before people start making accusations, I am not a homophobe, I support Gay marriage.
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Cancelled Alice
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Sabertooth
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#3
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#3
If the business doesn't want his business they should be allowed to refuse.

7 years and god knows how much money, get a ****ing life dude.
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Son of the Sea
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#4
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#4
I had these same thoughts when I saw the article on bbc news. Like dude, move on with your life, imagine all that crap going on for 7 years over a frickin cake. And to top it off (pun intended) he’s lost the case.
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SHallowvale
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#5
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Absolute waste of everyone's time, money and effort.
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tazarooni89
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#6
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#6
I don’t see why the case wasn’t just thrown out in the first place tbh.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that refusing to bake a particular type of cake isn’t the same as refusing to serve a particular type of customer - only the latter of which is unlawful discrimination. Even the lowest courts in the country should be able to work that out.

It sounds like someone just felt like doing a bit of activism and wanted to punish people who don’t support gay marriage.
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londonmyst
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#7
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I doubt that the uk courts have heard the last of this one. :argh:
I believe in the right of businesses to choose which goods & services they provide, their pricing, the clientele they are willing to serve, their own contractor/staff/freelancer selection and supplier criterias.

The legal saga has pretty much been an antagonistic and needless time wasting stalemate all round.
Wouldn't expect anything else from any of the equally overbearing and unpleasant parties involved.
Amy & Daniel McArthur who named their bakery Ashers after being inspired by Genesis 49:20, the NIEC or QS.
Nor any of the other foul activist identity politics peddling jerks of the ADF, BLF, CF, CI and CLC.
Utterly dreadful one and all.
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Joleee
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#8
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oh dear lord, who is this man's lawyer that they didn't know the case was inadmissible? what a stupid way to lose :lolwut:
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StriderHort
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#9
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If I was the baker I'd be tempted to now mass produce the original cake design for resale to everyone just mess with their head
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mondays child
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#10
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People are quick enough to cite human rights as an argument for something spurious, so why they did not given their argument is about their deeply held religious beliefs at a very early stage is surprising. Their legal representatives in the beginning failed them.
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L i b
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#11
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(Original post by Joleee)
oh dear lord, who is this man's lawyer that they didn't know the case was inadmissible? what a stupid way to lose :lolwut:
Admissibility isn't necessarily a straightforward or clear-cut thing.

This case, however, has been pretty spurious from the beginning. But they've clearly decided to take it as far as they possibly can.
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Joleee
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(Original post by L i b)
Admissibility isn't necessarily a straightforward or clear-cut thing.

This case, however, has been pretty spurious from the beginning. But they've clearly decided to take it as far as they possibly can.
well seven judges in the ECHR court said 'Mr Lee had not invoked his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights "at any point in the domestic proceedings" in the UK courts'. so surely his lawyer should've recognised that and why didn't they? seems like a basic requirement a human rights lawyer would know.
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Sabertooth
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#13
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(Original post by Joleee)
well seven judges in the ECHR court said 'Mr Lee had not invoked his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights "at any point in the domestic proceedings" in the UK courts'. so surely his lawyer should've recognised that and why didn't they? seems like a basic requirement a human rights lawyer would know.
$$$$
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nulli tertius
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Joleee)
well seven judges in the ECHR court said 'Mr Lee had not invoked his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights "at any point in the domestic proceedings" in the UK courts'. so surely his lawyer should've recognised that and why didn't they? seems like a basic requirement a human rights lawyer would know.
Because Strasbourg has been a follower not a leader on gay marriage waiting for a consensus to build up amongst Council of Europe states.

Therefore the Claimant ran on domestic equalities legislation. He wasn't really expecting to lose, but the analysis became more sophisticated as the case rose through the court levels.

If he had won this wouldn't have remained about gay slogans. There are plenty of people in NI willing to order religiously provocative cakes from "the other lot" and then claim that the refusal to bake it was religious discrimination.
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Trinculo
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#15
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(Original post by Joleee)
well seven judges in the ECHR court said 'Mr Lee had not invoked his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights "at any point in the domestic proceedings" in the UK courts'. so surely his lawyer should've recognised that and why didn't they? seems like a basic requirement a human rights lawyer would know.
I find this difficult to believe - that the entire case in our courts rested on EqA and not the HRA at any point.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Trinculo)
I find this difficult to believe - that the entire case in our courts rested on EqA and not the HRA at any point.
There was extensive consideration of the HRA because Ashers contended that the NI equalities regulations had to be read down so as not to require Ashers to say anything they objected to in order to protect their ECHR rights. In other words if Ashers had lost, they could have taken the case to Strasbourg.

This is the judgment throwing the case out

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng/#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-214966%22]}
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Napp
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#17
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#17
waste of money, time and effort. Even prominent gay rights activists note this was stupid. If the man had won, by all rights, i could have gone into a gay bakers and ordered them to make a nice lemon drizzle with 'burn ****' emblazoned on it..
One might not agree with the bakers moral stand point, religion and all that nonsense, but nevertheless they shouldnt be legally compelled to make something just because some vexacious little twirp thinks its his right.
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Picnicl
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#18
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#18
It is bonkers that the legal system actually found in favour of the complainant at one stage. If the bakers had remained 'guilty' then no baker would ever be allowed to decline to bake the following messages if they preferred not to either:
1. Support Sinn Fein. They're a democratically elected party now
2. Support the music of Barry Manilow
3. Support the career of Leslie Grantham as he did his crime and served his time and his webcam shennanigans weren't illegal
4. Support reducing the age of consent to 12 like it used to be legal
5. Support smearing yourself in treacle and staying in all day
6. Support Jacob Rees-Mogg

Whether or not the baker is secretly homophobic is irrelevant to the case. Even religious views are irrelevant to the case. What's relevant is the right of a business to determine exactly what labour they agree to do. And that is regardless of whether you support gay marriage or not.
Last edited by Picnicl; 6 days ago
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Picnicl)
It is bonkers that the legal system actually found in favour of the complainant at one stage.
Actually at two stages but for different reasons.

(Original post by Napp)
waste of money, time and effort.
Anything that keeps lawyers in work is inherantly good

Seriously, the case will make it a lot harder to bring in the UK the type of abusive discrimination cases which have plagued the American courts. If the real aim of your litigation is to put your political opponents on the Stool of Repentence, that has become a lot more difficult.
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Joleee
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Because Strasbourg has been a follower not a leader on gay marriage waiting for a consensus to build up amongst Council of Europe states.

Therefore the Claimant ran on domestic equalities legislation. He wasn't really expecting to lose, but the analysis became more sophisticated as the case rose through the court levels.

If he had won this wouldn't have remained about gay slogans. There are plenty of people in NI willing to order religiously provocative cakes from "the other lot" and then claim that the refusal to bake it was religious discrimination.
this isn't a case or a legal argument from Lee's lawyers about the right to gay marriage tho, is it? it's a case about freedom of expression which is protected under ECHR which is passed down through HRA in domestic courts and is also a qualified right, so that's what i would assume the legal team would run with :dontknow:

have you by chance read any of the judgments and can provide us a link
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