A bakery — make that a Christian bakery — in Northern Ireland is currently entrenched in a legal fight over their right to refuse to bake a cake with a pro gay marriage message frosted to the surface.
After initially accepting the order at their Belfast branch, Asher Bakery’s higher-ups decided that a cake with Bert and Ernie that read “Support gay marriage” falls outside the moral guidelines of their fine baking institution.
It’s a debate we’re no strangers to in the States, with the law seeming to favor a business’ right to refuse service to a customer based on “religious beliefs.” Pat Robertson even went so far as to spout a line of demented logic that Jesus would never bake a gay wedding cake. Thanks for settling that, Pat.
Asher Bakery contacted the customer and told them they’d have to go elsewhere to get their gay Muppet cake.
Then they received a letter from the Equality Commission accusing the company of discrimination and threatening legal consequences if proper recompense isn’t made.
For the record, Muppets creators have repeatedly stated that Bert and Ernie are not, in fact, gay.
Though, Family Guy had a different take:
As did The New Yorker when if published this cover last year:
And if you go all the way back to Bert and Ernie’s 1969 Sesame Street debut, it’s easy to see where the confusion comes from. Here, Ernie calls Bert into the bathroom to bring him a bar of soap, telling him to just “toss it into old Rosie here.” Hmm.
Still, the show stands by the assertion that the Muppets not only aren’t gay, but have no sexual orientation at all. Except in this Glee parody, it’s pretty clear that a gay muppet can (and does) exist:
All of which has nothing to do with a cake in Northern Ireland, but who’s counting?