NI First Minister: Legal action against bakery that refused to bake ‘gay’ cake is ‘bonkers’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Northern Irish First Minister Peter Robinson has savaged a planned legal action against a bakery that refused to bake a ‘gay’ cake featuring Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.

In July, Asher’s Baking Company – based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland – refused the request of a gay rights activist for a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ above an image of the characters.

The Equality Commission later found that this act broke anti-discrimination laws, and called for the bakery to apologise, but its manager vowed to instead “make a stand”.

This week, the Commission warned in a 16-page legal letter that the bakery will face legal action if it does not settle the case soon.

DUP politician Peter Robinson has now waded in to criticize the Equality Commission – and defend the couple who refused to bake a ‘gay’ cake.

He said: “This kind of decision from the Equality Commission is bonkers. They really do need to wind their necks in.

“In times when we are scrapping around trying to get funding for essential services for Northern Ireland, they are tossing it away.”

The Commission is seeking the £500 in compensation that the bakery refused to pay – though right-wing sources are claiming it is a plan to “bankrupt” the bakery.

Mr Robinson’s party remains strongly opposed to basic gay rights, opposing same-sex marriage and refusing to lift a lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, despite expert recommendations.

He has previously expressed the view that homosexuality is an “abomination”.