European courts dismiss human rights appeal over long-running ‘gay cake’ dispute
The European Court of Human Rights dismissed a challenge against the long-running “gay cake” case this morning, stating that the claimant had “failed to exhaust domestic remedies” available to him in the UK legal system.
Gareth Lee sued a Northern Ireland bakery for refusing to make a cake decorated with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”, after Ashers Bakery said it was in conflict with their religious beliefs.
Lee argued that by refusing to do so, the Christian-run shop had discriminated against him on the grounds of his sexual orientation and political beliefs.
The eight year battle has attracted media attention over the years, and Lee initially won his case and appeal in the UK courts.
However, in 2018, the Supreme Court disagreed with the lower courts’ and found in favour of the bakery, leading Lee to Strasbourg.
This morning, the European judges decided, by majority, that the case should be dismissed.
The ruling stated that Lee had not invoked his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights at any point in the domestic cases and the ruling said: “By relying solely on domestic law, the applicant had deprived the domestic courts of the opportunity to address any Convention issues raised, instead asking the court to usurp the role of the domestic courts.”
More to follow