Saturday 29 April 2017

Actor and gay rights advocate Patrick Stewart stands by Ashers bakery in gay cake row despite backlash

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Actor and renowned gay rights advocate Patrick Stewart has defended his support of Ashers bakery in the so-called 'gay cake' row after a backlash against the actor on social media.

The X-Men star told BBC's Newsnight last week that he supported the right of the McArthurs, the Christian family who owns Ashers, to refuse to make a message they find offensive.

Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek
Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek

Read more here: Christian bakers in gay cake row appeal discrimination ruling  

The firm lost a landmark discrimination case after refusing to bake a cake with the words "support gay marriage" above a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen

The man who played Captain Picard on Star Trek and Professor Charles Xavier in the X Men series  argued that nobody should be forced to write something they disagreed with.

Read more here: Gay cake row: Ashers bakery to appeal ruling that they discriminated against a gay man  

He has since been lambasted by the LGBT community on social media and yesterday he clarified his comments on Facebook.

"In my view, this particular matter was not about discrimination, but rather personal freedoms and what constitutes them, including the freedom to object," he wrote.

Read more here: Gay cake row bakery 'limiting services' to only provide birthday and baby-related celebration cakes  

"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."

Stewart has been an advocate of gay rights for years, and denied he shared the McArthurs' views. He is also close friends with X Men co-star, openly gay actor and advocate Ian McKellen.

Read more here: 'Gay cake row has given No campaign a massive boost'  

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