Patrick Stewart dished on the gay cake controversy that arose when U.K. bakery owners declined to create a cake that expressed support for gay marriage. The Star Trek actor offered his views on the Northern Ireland bakery owners, who received a fine of $760 in a discrimination ruling, reported MSN.
The cake was supposed to feature the phrase “Support Gay Marriage,” with Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street showcased on the concoction. And Patrick believes that the bakery owners should have the right to decline to create that cake.
“I found myself on the side of the bakers,” declared Stewart.
In arguing for the bakers, Patrick noted that he felt they weren’t objecting to a gay couple but to the slogan.
“It was not because this was a gay couple that they objected, it was not because they were going to be celebrating some sort of marriage or an agreement between them. It was the actual words on the cake they objected to. Because they find the words offensive. I would support their rights to say no, this is personally offensive to my beliefs, I will not do it.”
However, the judge who ruled against the Ashers Baking Company in Northern Ireland contended that the bakery had discriminated, reported Fox News.
The cake had been requested by Gareth Lee for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. After first agreeing to create the celebratory sweet, the owners then cancelled a few days after their acceptance.
Patrick said he believes that a bakery can decline to make something that offends its owners. Moreover, added Stewart, he regretted that they had to pay the fine.
“I feel bad for them that it cost them  quid ($736),” noted the actor.
However, Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that the cancellation constituted discrimination.
“My finding is that the defendants cancelled this order as they oppose same-sex marriage for the reason that they regard it as sinful and contrary to their genuinely-held religious beliefs. The defendants are not a religious organization. They are conducting a business for profit and, notwithstanding their genuine religious beliefs, there are no exceptions available under the 2006 regulations which apply to this case.”
Patrick Stewart has posted an update on his Facebook page to clarify his stance.
“As part of my advocacy for Amnesty International, I gave an interview on a number of subjects related to human rights, civil rights and freedom of speech. During the interview, I was asked about the Irish bakers who refused to put a message on a cake which supported marriage equality, because of their beliefs. In my view, this particular matter was not about discrimination, but rather personal freedoms and what constitutes them, including the freedom to object,” wrote Stewart.
Moreover, added the Star Trek actor, it’s the issue of freedom of speech that he wants to support.
“Both equality and freedom of speech are fundamental rights— and this case underscores how we need to ensure one isn’t compromised in the pursuit of the other. I know many disagree with my sentiments, including the courts. I respect and understand their position, especially in this important climate where the tides of prejudices and inequality are (thankfully) turning. What I cannot respect is that some have conflated my position on this single matter to assume I’m anti-equality or that I share the personal beliefs of the bakers. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth. I have long championed the rights of the LGBT community, because equality should not only be, as the people of Ireland powerfully showed the world, universally embraced, but treasured.”
The controversy in the United Kingdom reflects the current arguments in the U.S. involving Caitlyn Jenner, with Kylie Jenner recently defending her parent against transphobic postings, as the Inquisitr reported.
Using social media, Kylie has become something of a family spokeswoman for what they want the world to feel and share about Caitlyn, as evidenced by her tweet.
“State what you want about the world without bashing others. Leave a positive impact.”
What do you think about Patrick Stewart’s stance on the gay cake controversy? Is he right, or did the bakery owners discriminate? Post your comments below.
[Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images]