Liberty Wins! But The Baker Still Loses

You Don’t Have To Bake The Cake.      

Remember the case of Masterpiece Cake Shop v Colorado?  In it, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop took the State of Colorado to court for forcing him to undergo re-education because he refused to supply a cake for a gay wedding.

That case went to the Supreme Court, and the outcome was that the State of Colorado exhibited bias toward the owner because of his Christian beliefs.  And that the State could not do that.

It had nothing to do with whether or not providing a cake to gay wedding was a free exercise of religion or free speech case.  It was all about whether the state had overstepped its bounds by displaying discriminatory bias toward the baker.

Well, now the UK Supreme Court has ruled that a baker in Northern Ireland does not have to bake a cake for a gay wedding.  That’s a free exercise of religion case.  In fact, the Supreme Court of the UK actually overturned two other previous court rulings in this case.

Asher's Bakery is a Christian-owned establishment in Northern Ireland, UK. In 2014, Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist, ordered a cake from the bakery with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage." The bakery declined the order. Mr. Lee immediately sued the bakery claiming discrimination against him based on his sexual orientation and political beliefs.

So, for the last four years, Asher’s Bakery has been fighting against this.  Twice courts have ruled against Asher’s, and twice they appealed the ruling. 

Asher’s Bakery has spent over $250,000 over the last four years trying to defend their right to freely practice their religious beliefs.

In the UK, of which Northern Ireland is a part, the losing party in a civil lawsuit has to pay the legal fees of the winning party.  It’s one reason why the UK doesn’t have frivolous lawsuits.  If you lose, you pay.  I’m sure you’re thinking—Great! Asher’s Bakery will get its money back!

Except no, they won’t.  For the last four years, Mr. Gareth Lee, has had his legal fees paid for by the British taxpayer.  Mr. Lee's case was funded by the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, a publicly operated organization.  Yep.  The British government funded an assault on religious liberty.

As a matter of fact, you can say that Asher’s Bakery paid legal fees for both sides of the case—their own money for their attorneys, and their tax money for the government’s.

So, the forces of liberty won a round in the battle for freedom.  But winners had to pay for their own prosecution, and somehow that just doesn’t seem right.


Sandra Peterson
Follow me on Twitter @janevonmises

Photo by Getty Images

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ken Webster Jr is a talk radio personality and producer from Houston, TX. He started his career in Chicago on the Mancow show and has since worked at dozens of radio stations all over the country. He’s currently the host of Pursuit of Happiness... Read more


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