For immediate release


Today, The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s largest support organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people expressed its disappointment at the Supreme Court ruling that Ashers baking company had not 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 are disappointed by this judgment. 

‘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. We believe this is direct discrimination for which there can be no justification. We will however take time to study this judgment by the Supreme Court to understand fully its implications for the rights of LGBT people to access goods, facilities and services without discrimination.

‘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 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