FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE RAINBOW PROJECT WELCOMES ASHERS RULING
Today, The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s largest support organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people welcomed a ruling clarifying that Ashers baking company had acted unlawfully by refusing to fulfil their contractual agreement to make a cake with a slogan supporting marriage equality.
Reacting to the judgment, John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project said: ‘We welcome this judgment. Judge Brownlie cut through the noise surrounding this case to address the facts. Ashers agreed to make the cake. They entered into a contractual agreement to make this cake and then changed their mind. While sympathetic as some may be to the position in which the company finds itself; this does not change the facts of the case. The judge clearly articulated that this is direct discrimination for which there can be no justification’
‘We do not believe that this matter should have been brought to court. We believe that Ashers bakery should have accepted the Equality Commission’s invitation to engage in mediation, where a remedy could have been found without the expense and division surrounding this court case.
‘However, most damaging of all has been the attempt by politicians to use this case to justify amending the law to allow businesses to discriminate against LGB&T people with the so-called ‘conscience clause.’ We would now urge Paul Given MLA and the DUP to make it clear to the people of Northern Ireland that they will not legislate to reduce the hard-won legal protections for our community.
‘We once again extend the hand of friendship to all people of faith, churches and families. We would encourage faith leaders to engage with our community to ensure better relations and to develop trust and respect between our overlapping communities for the betterment of our society.’
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact The Rainbow Project on 028 90 31 90 30 or
John O’Doherty – 07780 996875
Malachai O’Hara – 07591 940298
Gavin Boyd – 07883 945157
James Copeland – 07481 834337