Equality Commission disappointed about Supreme Court Judgment
Lee v Ashers Baking Company Limited
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is disappointed in the judgment given today by the Supreme Court in the case of Lee v Ashers Baking Company Limited and Others.
This case was about Mr Lee being denied a service by the bakery, which he felt was discriminatory. The Belfast County Court and the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal found that Mr Lee had been discriminated against on grounds of sexual orientation, political opinion and religious belief, in line with case law developed over the years.
“The Supreme Court has overturned these findings and we will have to look at the implications of its judgment carefully.” Dr. Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said.
“There is a concern that this judgment may raise uncertainty about the application of equality law in the commercial sphere, both about what businesses can do and what customers may expect; and that the beliefs of business owners may take precedence over a customer’s equality rights, which in our view is contrary to what the legislature intended.”