Actor Patrick Stewart has said that he
supports a Northern Ireland bakery's right to refuse to make a cake
with a pro-gay marriage message.
The Equality Commission for Northern
Ireland (ECNI) last week fined the Ashers Baking Company £500
for refusing to make a cake featuring Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie
with the caption “Support Gay Marriage” and the logo for
QueerSpace, a Belfast-based LGBT rights group. Currently, gay
couples cannot marry in Northern Ireland.
Colin and Karen McArthur have said that they plan to appeal the
on BBC's Newsnight,
Stewart, a strong supporter of LGBT rights, defended the owners,
saying that he backs their right “to say no.”
was not because this was a gay couple that they objected. It was not
because they were going to be celebrating some kind of marriage or
agreement between them. It was the actual words on the cake that
they objected to,” Stewart
found them offensive. I would support their right to say 'no, this
is personally offensive to my beliefs and I will not do it.' I felt
bad for them that it cost them 600 quid, or whatever,” he added.