The Christian family behind the so-called gay cake case have said they are praying for next week to be the final time they will ever have to be in court.
The McArthur family from Newtownabbey will once again be present in the Court of Appeal in Belfast on Monday in a bid to overturn discrimination findings against them over their refusal to bake a £36.50 cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.
A court had ruled against their firm Ashers last year, stating that they had broken political and sexual orientation discrimination laws.
Ahead of the latest instalment of the long-running legal saga, company general manager Daniel McArthur, 26, said: “It has been a long and difficult road, but we have been sustained every step of the way by the Word of God and by the many thousands of people who have supported us.
“Many share our beliefs about marriage. Many more defend our freedom to hold those beliefs.
“As a family we are simply hoping and praying for a just outcome so that our ordeal in court next week will be our last.”
The appeal hearing takes place exactly two years to the day that the order for the cake was placed on 9 May 2014.
A previous hearing scheduled for February was delayed following a last-minute intervention from the Attorney General – a clear indication of the legal significance of the case.
Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute, which has provided legal backing to the family, said: “We know there are huge numbers of people around the country who, even if they don’t support the McArthurs’ beliefs on marriage, do not think they should be compelled to promote views that go against those beliefs.”
More than 16,000 people have signed a Christian Institute petition in support of the McArthur family.