Ashers Bakery: Appeal Suddenly Adjourned by NI Attorney General
|See also: Ashers Bakery, Judgment handed down in "Cake" row|
Please watch the video above to see how how Andrea Williams of Christian Concern explained the case last year on Sky TV
The appeal by Ashers Baking Company has been adjourned, following an intervention by Northern Ireland’s Attorney General.
A judge had ruled last May that the bakery had 'discriminated' against a customer on the grounds of sexual orientation, as the owners refused to bake a cake promoting same-sex 'marriage'.
Daniel and Amy McArthur were to appeal this decision today at Belfast’s Court of Appeal.
After a short hearing, the unexpected adjournment was made by the Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan.
Intervention from Attorney General
A lawyer for John Larkin QC, the Attorney General, had raised issues with the court regarding discrimination and equality legislation.
A request was made at the last minute to make representation in the case about any potential conflict between the region's legislation on sexual orientation and European human rights laws.
Speaking before the hearing, Daniel McArthur said:
"Today we appeal to the Lord Chief Justice and colleagues to overturn the county court ruling, we appeal to them to recognise there is a big difference between refusing to serve someone because of their sexual orientation or political opinion and choosing not to endorse those ideas."
The Lord Chief Justice told the court it was "most unfortunate this issue has only arisen two days before hearing".
"Although we have all tried to see if we could proceed with the case given the amount of work that has been done.
"It seems to us that it is simply not possible to do that without running into some risk of fairness in the hearing."
A one-day hearing is now to take place on 3rd March, during which the Court of Appeal will sit to hear legal arguments on the compatibility of Northern Ireland regulations and European human rights laws.
Four days have been allocated for a full hearing, beginning on 9th May.