Ireland’s Ashers Baking Company — the Christian family-run bakery that was brought to court after employees refused to make a cake displaying the words “Support Gay Marriage” above an image of Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie — has received a vote of support from Patrick Stewart.
The actor, who has never been shy about his support for gay rights, nevertheless announced that he had sided with the bakery.
“It was not because it was a gay couple that they objected, it was not because they were celebrating some sort of marriage or an agreement between them,” Stewart said on BBC’s Newsnight. “It was the actual words on the cake they objected to — because they found the words offensive.”
Ashers, which was found guilty of discrimination by a judge, was well within its rights to refuse the cake order, according to Stewart.
To drive the point home, Stewart compared the bakery’s response to that of a Westerner being asked to decorate a cake with a message of support for ISIS.
“I would support their rights to say no, this is personally offensive to my beliefs, I will not do it,” Stewart said.