The Free Church of Scotland has sent a letter of support to a Northern Irish bakery which was fined £500 for refusing to decorate a cake with a pro-gay slogan.
The Rev David Robertson, moderator of the denomination’s General Assembly, described the ruling against Ashers Bakery as “ridiculous” and an example of “double standards” against Christians, particularly given same-sex marriage is illegal in Ulster.
Gay rights activist Gareth Lee took the County Antrim-based business to court and earlier this week a judge in Belfast ruled that it was not exempt from discrimination law.
The bakery was found to have discriminated against Mr Lee, who was assisted by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, on the grounds of sexual orientation as well as his political beliefs.
Mr Robertson said: “Does this ruling now mean that a Jewish baker should be forced to bake a cake with a swastika on it for the BNP?
“Neither the sign not the party are illegal in the UK.
“Would the Equalities Commission sue a Moslem baker who refused to bake a cake with a cartoon of Mohammed on it for a Charlie Hebdo party?
“That is ridiculous and just as ridiculous for a Christian who thinks same-sex marriage is against the word of God to be compelled to decorate a cake with a message supporting it.”
Mr Robertson, who leads St Peter’s Church in Dundee, claimed the Christian bakery was being discriminated against because it was being told it would have to close down if it wasn’t prepared to provide cakes with messages that contradict its beliefs.
“To refuse to bake someone a cake because they are gay would be wrong,” said the minister.
“To refuse to decorate that cake with a message which you find offensive is your right.”