Gay rights activists have called for a boycott of Iowa baker Victoria Childress after she denied a wedding cake to a lesbian couple.

Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers were told by Childress, owner of Victoria's Cake Cottage in Des Moines, that her religious convictions would not allow her to sell them a wedding cake for their upcoming ceremony.

A Facebook page titled Boycott Victoria's Cake Cottage – Des Moines has been “liked” by nearly 500 people.

Chidress defended her decision to refuse service to the couple during an interview with KCCI.

“I didn't do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle,” Childress said. “It is my right as a business owner. And it's not to discriminate against them.”

“I was straight-forward with them and explained that I'm a Christian and that I have very strong convictions. I chose to be honest about it. They said they appreciated it and left. That was all that was said.”

While religious organizations are exempt from the state's discrimination laws – which were amended in 2007 to include sexual orientation – business owners are not.

The women refused to comment further on the incident after their initial interviewer with KCCI, saying only in a statement: “We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received and hope that by stepping forward we have prevented someone else from experiencing the same type of bigotry.”