The European Court of Human Rights this morning dismissed a challenge to the long-running “gay cake” case, saying the plaintiff had “not exhausted domestic remedies” available to him in the UK legal system .
Gareth Lee sued a bakery in Northern Ireland for refusing to bake a cake decorated with the slogan “Support gay marriage”, after Ashers Bakery said it conflicted with their religious beliefs.
Lee argued that by refusing to do so, the Christian-run store had discriminated against him on the basis of his sexual orientation and political beliefs.
The eight-year battle has gained media attention over the years, and Lee first won her case and appeal in UK courts.
However, in 2018 the Supreme Court disagreed with the lower courts and ruled in favor of the bakery, leading Lee to Strasbourg.
This morning, the European judges decided, by a majority, that the case should be dismissed.
The decision stated that Lee had at no time invoked his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights in internal cases and the decision stated: “Relying solely on domestic law, the applicant deprived national courts of the possibility Convention issues were raised, asking instead the court to usurp the role of national courts.