Bakery told it can't refuse order for pro-gay Bert and Ernie cake

Image to run with gadgets and accessories column in Autonet Dec. 8, 2011. Muppets Ernie (left)and...

Image to run with gadgets and accessories column in Autonet Dec. 8, 2011. Muppets Ernie (left)and Bert lend their voice talents to the latest Tom-Tom navigation instruction voice module. SUPPLIED IMAGE

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

A Northern Ireland bakery that cancelled an order for a cake featuring Bert and Ernie and the words "support gay marriage" has been told it broke the law and could face legal action.

Daniel McArthur, general manager of Ashers Baking Co. in Newtownabbey, said the bakery couldn't produce the cake featuring the two Sesame Street characters and the slogan because it goes against the family-owned company's religious beliefs, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

To make the cake would be akin to supporting the cause, he argued.

"We run our business according to Christian values and beliefs, according to what the Bible teaches. It means for example that we don't open on Sundays," McArthur told the newspaper. "We thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs."

But the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland wrote to the company to say it broke the law and discriminated against a customer based on sexual orientation. It has threatened legal action.

 


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