Gay man felt like 'lesser' person' after cake refusal
THE gay activist at the centre of a row over a cake has told a court he felt like a "lesser person" when the company refused his clientele.
As the landmark civil case between religious freedom and equality rights got underway in Belfast, Gareth Lee said he was left to feel that he "wasn't worthy" because of his sexuality when his order for a cake endorsing gay marriage was cancelled by the bakery.
Before the case began the company's manager Daniel McArthur said the company's problem "was with the message not the customer" and that it went against their "sincerely held beliefs".
The court was told that in May last year, Mr Lee asked for a cake bearing the slogan "support gay marriage" along with a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street and the logo of the Queerspace organisation he belongs to. Mrs McArthur accepted the order and it was paid in full by Mr Lee.
A few days later, after discussing the matter with her daughter-in-law and her son, Mrs McArthur contacted Mr Lee to say Ashers could not fulfil his order because of their Christian beliefs.
The case will continue.