By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Corespondent
DUBLIN (Worthy News)-- A Christian bakery in Northern Ireland must pay compensation or face legal action after an equality commission declared that it was guilty of committing "unlawful religious, political and sexual orientation discrimination" for declining to bake a "gay" cake, according to Christian News.
Back in May, Ashers Baking Company in Newtonabbey was approached to bake a cake that featured the logo of a homosexual advocacy group in observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Instead, the bakery sent the request to General Manager Daniel McArthur who declined to bake the cake as same-sex "marriage" was against the company's Christian beliefs.
However, customer Gareth Lee reported Ashers to the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, which sent a warning to McArthur that he and his bakery had discriminated against Lee even though same-sex marriage was not legal in Northern Ireland.
"This case raises issues of public importance regarding the extent to which suppliers of goods and services can refuse service on grounds of sexual orientation, religious belief and political opinion," said the Commission in a statement. "The Commission will be issuing a civil bill in this case and a decision as to whether or not discrimination has occurred will be a matter for the court."
The bakery replied that although it was willing to serve any customer regardless of their lifestyle, it does not believe it should be forced to bake a cake bearing a message that violates its Christian convictions.
McArthur said it was like David vs. Goliath: a small, family business against a public commission funded by taxpayers' money that has massive resources at its disposal.
"We're continuing to hold to the stand that we took originally because we believe it's biblical, we believe it's what God would want us to do and we also think that if we do cave in to the Equality Commission at this point, it'll put pressure on other citizens who are defending their view of traditional marriage," said McArthur.