N. Ireland Bakery in Trouble For Refusing Bert & Ernie Pro-Gay Cake
A Northern Ireland bakery headed by conservative Christians may be in hot water after they refused to make a gay-themed cake involving the classic characters Bert and Ernie from "Sesame Street," the Guardian reports.
Officials from Ashers Baking Company published a statement on its website this week, defending their decision to refuse to bake the pro-gay cake. The company’s general manager, Daniel MacArthur said:
"The directors and myself looked at it and considered it and thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs. It certainly was at odds with what the Bible teaches, and on the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn’t take his order."
McArthur, 24, added that the bakery offered a full refund to the customer, who wanted the slogan "Queerspace" on the cake, above the iconic children’s puppets.
Ashers Baking Company was established in 1992, has six shops in Northern Ireland and employs 62 people.
McArthur also told the Guardian that the bakery received a letter from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, a non-departmental public body that "is responsible for implementing the legislation on fair employment, sex discrimination and equal pay, race relations, sexual orientation and disability."
"We thought that was the end of it, but approximately six weeks later we received a letter from the Equality commission," he said. "The Equality commission’s letter said that we had discriminated against the customer on the grounds of his sexual orientation."