Irish Bakery Says No to Gay-Themed Sesame Street Cake

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Are wedding cakes becoming a new symbol of the cultural clash over gay marriage? Several months ago, a Colorado bakery challenged U.S. Courts on their decision that refusing to bake a cake for a gay ceremony was discrimination. This week, a Northern Ireland bakery is taking heat for, similarly, refusing to bake a gay-themed cake that features the “Sesame Street” Characters Bert and Ernie.

The custom wedding cakes store, Ashers Baking Company, did not want to run a slogan above the puppets that was intended to support gay marriage. “The directors and myself looked at it and considered it and thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs,” said the bakery’s general manager, Daniel McArthur in an interview with The Guardian. “On the following Monday we rang the customer to let him know that we couldn’t take his order.” Northern Ireland has not yet legalized gay marriage, unlike the rest of the United Kingdom.

The company says they offered the customer a full refund in lieu of the cake. However, as is the case in America, this behavior is frowned upon when it comes to businesses that serve the public. McArthur and his bakery received a letter from the watchdog group Equality Commission, which made clear that they believed the bakery was discriminating based on sexual orientation.

Although this issue is unlikely to see full resolve anytime soon as emotions still run high on both sides, there are luckily many bakeries more than willing to accept any customer that is looking for the perfect custom made cakes for their weddings, events or birthdays. What should customers look for in great custom made cakes?

The right bakery will depend, in part, on what sort of cake one is seeking. Certain bakeries, for example, specialize in custom birthday cakes, while others only handle wedding cake designs. Most bakeries now have online sites so that consumers can view their portfolio of past cakes and order specialty cakes online, as well.
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