Karen McArthur was giving evidence during the second day of the high-profile legal action being heard in Belfast’s County Court.
Mrs McArthur said: “I knew in my heart that I could not put that message on the cake.”
Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission is taking the case against the family run Ashers Bakery on behalf the gay rights activist customer whose order was declined.
Gareth Lee, a volunteer member of the LGBT advocacy group Queer Space, claimed he was left feeling like a lesser person when his order, which had been paid in full, was turned down.
Ashers, which is run by the McArthur family, declined the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage. It had been ordered for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.
“The problem was with the message on the cake because, as a Christian, I do not support gay marriage,” Mrs McArthur said.
I’m Backing Christian Bakers, Says Pro-Gay Marriage Columnist
Charisma News 28 March 2015
A columnist who is in favor of same-sex marriage has expressed support for the Christian-owned Ashers Baking Company, in order to protect the “vital” principle of freedom of speech.
Writing in The Belfast Telegraph, Fionola Meredith said that forcing Ashers to endorse a cause with which it disagrees would do “nothing to advance the cause of equality.”
She made the comments ahead of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland’s court case against Ashers, which starts on Thursday.