A bakery in Northern Ireland is under fire for refusing to make a gay-themed cake featuring the Bert and Ernie characters from the children's TV show "Sesame Street."
According to The Guardian, Ashers Baking Company, which is run by Christians, released a statement defending its decision and said the slogan above the puppets was in support of gay marriage.
The customer wanted to have a slogan from the group Queerspace on the cake, The Guardian reported.
"The directors and myself looked at it and considered it and thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs," Daniel McArthur, the general manager, said. "It certainly was at odds with what the Bible teaches, and on the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn't take his order."
McArthur said the company offered to fully refund the customer, the report said.
McArthur confirmed to The Guardian that he received a letter from the watchdog Equality Commission.
"The Equality Commission's letter said that we had discriminated against the customer on the grounds of his sexual orientation," he said.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where gay marriage is still not legal. That ban is expected to face a legal challenge later this year, The Guardian reported.