THE actions of conservative Christians in goods and services
discrimination cases is causing harm to the reputation of
Christians among the rest of society, Dr Richard O'Leary, who
chairs the Church of Ireland pro-gay group Changing Attitude
His remarks at the weekend follow the refusal of a printing
company in Drogheda, Co. Louth, to produce civil partnership
invitations for a gay couple.
Jonathan Brennan and his partner John Kierans are entering into
a civil partnership in August, but when Mr Brennan asked Beulah
Print to provide the invitations, the company refused.
Mr Brennan said that he was a Roman Catholic with faith, and was
deeply hurt by the decision. He said that a representative of the
firm told him that if the company was asked to print an image of a
naked woman, it would also refuse. "How offensive that they are
linking a wedding invitation to a pornographic image. I couldn't
get over it," Mr Brennan said.
In a statement, a company spokesman for Beulah Print said: "We
at Beulah Print are Bible-believing Christians who are committed to
standing by our conscience and God's word."
The local Labour TD (MP) deputy Ged Nash, a first cousin of Mr
Kierans, said that the treatment of the couple was both offensive
and unacceptable. "As family members, I love them both dearly, and
I can see how much they love one another. We are all looking
forward to John and Jonathan's wedding, and this won't mar their
preparations in any way."
Commenting on the case, Dr O'Leary said that he and many other
people of faith were disappointed that other Christians were citing
their Christian beliefs as a reason for not serving gay customers.
"Conservative Christians are not invoking their Christian
conscience against any other group except against the gay
Dr O'Leary said that heterosexuals should not be indifferent to
the fate of their gay fellow citizens. "They could be next. What if
a Bible-believing Christian printer does not agree with mixed
Protestant-Catholic marriage? Should he be allowed to refuse the
business of a mixed-faith couple?"