Reacting to the decision, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness tweeted: “Ashers bakery judgement a good result for equality, gay people have for far too long been discriminated against. We and the law on their side.”
John O’Doherty, of gay rights group the Rainbow Project, said: “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.”
However, DUP MLA Paul Givan, who has proposed that lawmakers in the Northern Ireland Assembly introduce a “conscience clause” as a result of the Ashers case, said many Christians would view the ruling as “an attack” on their religious convictions.
“What we cannot have is a hierarchy of rights, and today there’s a clear hierarchy being established that gay rights are more important than the rights of people to hold religious beliefs,” Mr Givan added.
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