Patrick Stewart stands by Ashers despite social media backlash over gay cake court ruling
Sir Patrick Stewart has defended his support of Ashers bakery in the so-called 'gay cake' row after a backlash against the actor on social media.
The X-Men star told Newsnight last week that he supported the right of the McArthurs, the Christian family who owns Ashers, to refuse to make a message they find offensive.
The firm lost a landmark discrimination case after refusing to bake a cake with the words "support gay marriage" above a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.
The man who played Captain Picard on Star Trek argued that nobody should be forced to write something they disagreed with.
He has since been lambasted by the LGBT community on social media and yesterday he clarified his comments on Facebook.
"In my view, this particular matter was not about discrimination, but rather personal freedoms and what constitutes them, including the freedom to object," he wrote.
"Both equality and freedom of speech are fundamental rights - and this case underscores how we need to ensure one isn't compromised in the pursuit of the other."
Stewart has been an advocate of gay rights for years, and denied he shared the McArthurs' views.