Several hundred internet users have backed a demand for the threat of legal action to be dropped against a family firm of bakeries, after it refused to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan on it.
The petition, on the website www.change.org , makes this demand: “Halt action being taken against Asher’s Bakery for refusing to produce a campaign cake that supported gay marriage”.
Set up by one Dorothy Bradley of Magherafelt, at time of writing it had received close to 1,000 supporters.
On the website, it warns that the case could have “devastating repercussions” for those of the Christian faith”, and says that the law should be able to accommodate businesses turning away custom because of the requirements of their faith.
As reported earlier in the week, Ashers had declined an order from a gay activist to bake a cake with the words “Queerspace” (the name of a volunteer-run campaign group) and “Support gay marriage” on it.
The customer then reportedly said he would contact a solicitor, and the Equality Commission later accused the company – run by a Christian family – of “unlawful discrimination”.
On the streets of Belfast this week, The News Letter found that many supported the firm’s stance, and were even planning to become more regular customers as a result.
Others visiting Royal Avenue outlet said though they had no problem with homosexuality, they would not condemn the bakery for its move.