A printing company is standing over a refusal to make invites for a gay wedding.
Beulah Print in Drogheda defended its decision not to take the order from a local hairdresser on religious grounds despite him being a client of theirs for the past four years.
Jonathon Brennan, who owns the Avenue Hair and Beauty salon in the town, said that he was refused by the printers for the first time yesterday afternoon when it came to his wedding.
“I did not know what to say. I was dumbfounded,” the stylist said.
Mr Brennan is due to wed his partner of eight years, John Kierans, in August.
Mike O’Leary, one of the co-owners of Beulah Print, defended the decision not to print the invites, citing his Christian beliefs, and said it is not the first time the company has refused to take orders from same-sex couples.
“We have turned down other classes of work that we’d not be happy to print — mainly things that are borderline pornographic,” he said.
Beulah Print: Refused work.
The dispute is just weeks away from when voters will have their say on whether to extend marriage rights to gay couples in a referendum.
The case echoes a dispute in the North where Ashers Bakers in Belfast, also a Christian-owned company, refused to make a cake that carried a pro-gay marriage slogan.
Mr Brennan added: “This is all a whirlwind. I’m horrified. I’m so disappointed that this has taken place in modern Ireland, especially now coming up to the vote on equality. We’ve been together eight years and we’ve never come across an instance like this. We are hurt and we are very angry.”
In a statement, the printers said: “We, at Beulah Print, are Bible-believing Christians who are committed to standing by our conscience and God’s word. We have been in business for 12 years, during which time we have held to our convictions and have at times declined a variety of work which we felt was clearly contrary to our beliefs.
“We have never hidden our faith from our customers and represent the Gospel at every opportunity. We are not against homosexuals, however, we do not support same-sex marriage, which printing wedding invitations would do.”
Another printing company, Coolgrey, which is based in Pouladuff in Cork and has Cork Gay Pride Festival as a client, has offered to print the couple’s wedding invitations for free.
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