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NI bakery owners didn't want to 'go against the Bible'

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Asher's Bakery Credit: Ben Chapman

The manager of a bakery which refused to bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage message on it has said that they made the decision "not because of the person but because of the message", ITV News reporter Ben Chapman reports.

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Asher's Bakery, said he and his family "fundamentally disagreed" with that message and "would not support a cause that goes against what the Bible says about marriage".

In a short statement before going into court, he said his family had been through "a difficult time, being dragged through the courts by a publicly funded body".

Belfast court to rule on 'gay cake' case today

Daniel and Amy McArthur followed by founders of Ashers bakery and Mr McArthur's parents, Colin (third left) and Karen McArthur. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A verdict is due today in the case against a bakery in Northern Ireland which refused to bake a cake with pro-gay marriage message on it.

Ashers Bakery, run by the McArthur family, has been accused of discrimination after it declined to produce a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto "Support Gay Marriage".

The Northern Ireland Equality Commission - which monitors compliance with the region's anti-discrimination laws - brought the case on behalf of Gareth Lee, a volunteer member of the LGBT advocacy group Queer Space who initially ordered the cake.

Mr Lee claimed that he was left feeling like a lesser person when his money was returned two days after it was first accepted.

The McArthur family, who employ 80 staff across nine branches and deliver across the UK and Ireland, have been supported by the Christian Institute, which has paid their legal fees.

Karen McArthur, a founder and company director at Ashers, told the court she had accepted the request to avoid embarrassment or confrontation but, as a born-again Christian, knew she could not fulfill it.

The verdict is due this morning.

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Ex-soldier charged over NI shooting 40 years ago

John Pat Cunningham's nephew, Charlie Agnew, with a MOD apology and a picture of Mr Cunningham. Credit: Paul Faith / PA Archive/PA Images

A 73-year-old former British soldier has appeared in court in Northern Ireland charged in relation to the death of a Catholic man with learning difficulties in 1974.

John Pat Cunningham, a 27-year-old man who had a mental age of between six and 10, was shot three times as he ran away from an army patrol in a field 40 years ago. Relatives said he ran because he had a fear of men in uniform.

Former soldier Dennis Hutchins was charged with attempted murder, the first time anyone has been charged in relation to the incident. He has not yet formally responded to the charge.

The charges follow a decision last month by the Police Service of Northern Ireland's recently established Legacy Investigation Branch to take a fresh look at the evidence surrounding Mr Cunningham's killing.

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