On Wednesday, the Supreme Court found in favour of an appeal by Asher’s bakery in Belfast, reversing earlier decisions made in the Belfast County Court and court of appeal, which had ruled that the bakery discriminated against Mr Lee on the grounds of his sexual orientation.
Announcing the ruling, Supreme Court president, Lady Hale, said: “It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics.”
“But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope,” she continued.
She said that freedom of expression includes the right to “not to express an opinion which one does not hold”.
“This court has held that ‘nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe’”, she said.