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

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Sir Patrick Stewart is in talks to reprise his Professor X role in Wolverine 3

Sir Patrick Stewart is in talks to reprise his Professor X role in Wolverine 3

Sir Patrick Stewart is in talks to reprise his Professor X role in Wolverine 3

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.

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Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek

Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek

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.

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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.

A Christian-owned bakery which refused to make a cake carrying a pro-gay marriage slogan has been found guilty of discrimination after a landmark legal action. Credit: Belfast Telegraph

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.

"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.

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