Actor Sir Patrick Stewart has given a boost to Ashers Baking Company ahead of their appeal against discrimination ruling.
Best known for his roles as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek and Professor Xavier in the X-Men films, Sir Patrick, also a renowned Shakespearean actor, told BBC Newsnight’s Evan Davis: “I found myself on the side of the bakers”.
The actor spoke out during an interview about his support for human rights as part of the Newsnight episode broadcast on BBC2 last night (June 3).
During the interview Sir Patrick said he had picked a “deliciously difficult subject” because he supported the stance taken by the McArthur family, the Christians who own and run the bakery.
Reflecting the arguments made in court on behalf of the family Sir Patrick said: “It was not because this was a gay couple that they objected; it was not because they were going to be celebrating some kind of marriage or agreement between them. It was the actual words on the cake that they objected to, because they found them offensive.
“And I would support their right to say ‘no this is personally offensive to my beliefs, I will not do it’. But I feel bad for them, that it cost them £600 or whatever.”
Last week the McArthur family revealed they will appeal against the court ruling that the firm had discriminated against a customer by refusing to decorate a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage.