Christian bakers in the USA facing a possible fine of $135,000 for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding have said their heart goes out to Ashers Baking Company.
Aaron and Melissa Klein explained that, for bakers, “the cake is our canvas” and said the Northern Ireland bakers should “stand for truth” with other Christians.
It comes as the Evangelical Alliance’s Director in Northern Ireland said everyone “will pay the price” for the result of the case.
In 2013 the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, turned down an order from lesbian couple Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman.
In April this year a judge recommended that the couple be fined $135,000, although the figure is not final.
Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster, Aaron said he believes that the Bible is God’s inerrant word and that it states marriage is between a man and a woman.
Stand for truth
Melissa expressed disagreement with the ruling against Ashers and said as bakers “the cake is our canvas”.
“When you do a cake, you are putting your signature on it”, she added.
Aaron encouraged the McArthur family not to give up, to stand for truth and “unite under the banner of Christ”.
Happy to serve
The Kleins’ supportive remarks come as Peter Lynas, the Northern Ireland Director of the Evangelical Alliance, also spoke out on the issue.
Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, he noted polling which showed large amounts of support for Ashers.
Referring to The Christian Institute’s press release from Tuesday, Lynas pointed out that the company “were – and remain – happy to serve” Gareth Lee, the LGBT activist who asked for the cake.
And he reminded readers it was the content of the message on the cake rather than the cake itself that was the issue.
Lynas commented: “What began as a battle to remove State discrimination against the LGBT community now seeks to use State power to punish those who refuse to support same-sex marriage.
“In the end, everyone will pay the price of this intolerance.”