A gay man says he will probably take legal action against a Christian-owned printing firm which declined to print invitations to his civil partnership.
Beulah Print in Drogheda has defended its decision not to take the order from local hairdresser Jonathan Brennan on freedom of conscience grounds despite him being a client for the past four years.
Mr Brennan, who went public with the row this week, was asked on Frdiay if he would likely take legal action.
“I would probably imagine that I will, yeah,” he told the Nolan Show.
He added: “We will have to seek legal advice to see where we stand on this matter and weigh up our options and decide what we will do next.”
The Equality Commission in Northern Ireland is currently taking legal action against Ashers Bakery in Belfast after it refused to provide a cake with a gay marriage slogan.
DUP MLA Paul Givan is proposing a conscience clause which would give such companies legal protection.
But Dr Richard O’Leary, chair of the pro-gay Church of Ireland group, Changing Attitude Ireland, said yesterday that “he and many other people of faith were disappointed that other Christians were invoking their Christian beliefs as a reason for not serving gay customers” and he noted that “conservative Christians are not invoking their Christian conscience against any other group except against the gay minority”.
He added: “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?”
The actions of conservative Christians in goods and services discrimination cases was doing great damage to the reputation of Christians among the rest of society, he said.