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Ashers Bakery Company seek to appeal gay cake case to U.K. Supreme Court

(YouTube/The Christian Institute)Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Baking Company appear in a screen capture of a video from The Christian Institute.

The owners of Ashers Bakery Company are seeking to submit a petition to the Supreme Court in London after they were refused leave to appeal by the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

Ashers owners Daniel and Amy McArthur were found to have violated equality laws last year for refusing to bake a cake that contained a pro-gay marriage slogan for activist Gareth Lee. The Court of Appeal in Belfast upheld the ruling in October this year.

They were refused leave to appeal by senior judges in Belfast, but they can now petition to the Supreme Court in London directly, according to Premier.

"Ashers Baking Company will take the necessary legal steps to instigate a Supreme Court appeal on this crucially important matter as soon as possible," said a spokesman for The Christian Institute, a group which is supporting the McArthurs in their legal battle.

The McArthurs were also ordered to pay limited costs in the legal battle with Lee. The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI), which supported Lee, was hoping to recover £100,000 in legal costs from Ashers. However, the judges in Belfast have ruled that ECNI can only retrieve a limited amount from Ashers.

"On the matter of costs the Court of Appeal judges have seen fit to limit the ECNI's recovery of their costs from Ashers to the same scale as the County Court, a sliding scale which keeps costs proportionate to the value of the £36.50 cake and the £500 damages," said Simon Calvert, deputy director for Public Affairs at The Christian Institute.

"This will have the effect of dramatically limiting the amount of legal costs which the ECNI can recover. The ECNI will be responsible for paying the vast majority of their expensive legal bills." he continued.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by ComRes has shown that nearly 70 percent of people support the decision of the McArthurs to decline an order that conflicts with their religious beliefs.

The survey of 2,000 British adults revealed that 65 percent do not agree that Christian bakers should be taken to court for refusing to bake a cake with the words "support gay marriage."

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