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04/06/2015 09:01 BST | Updated 05/06/2015 10:59 BST

Patrick Stewart Backs Christian Bakers In 'Gay Cake Row' On Newsnight

Famed Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart has joined the “gay cake” row by revealing he supports the Christian bakers who refused to ice a message promoting same sex marriage.

Belfast-based firm Ashers Baking Company was found guilty of discrimination last month, following the incident.

The firm said it would not make the Sesame Street cake which celebrated gay marriage because it conflicted with the owner’s religious beliefs.

patrick stewart

Patrick Stewart

Stewart, who is a renowned supporter of LGBT rights, was discussing his campaign work for human rights on Newsnight with Evan Davis when he was asked what he made of the matter.

Describing it as a “deliciously difficult subject," he replied: “Finally I found myself on the side of the bakers.

“It was not because it was a gay couple that they objected, it was not because they were celebrating some sort of marriage or an agreement between them.

gay marriage cake

Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist, did manage to get a cake made as requested

“It was the actual words on the cake they objected to. Because they found the words offensive.

“I would support their rights to say no, this is personally offensive to my beliefs, I will not do it.”

Professor Graham Walker, a politics academic at Queen's University Belfast, said the case had proven a "phyrric victory" for the gay rights movement in Northern Ireland.

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He told HuffPost UK: "The verdict has created a difficult context for movement on this issue. It has made opponents of gay marriage here all the more defiant and determined.

"There was considerable sympathy for Ashers across the sectarian divide and indeed beyond. There were even letters in The Guardian regretting the outcome. It is hard not to conclude that this case should never have gone to court."

Ireland votes yes to gay marriage