'Bible-believing Christian' company refuses to print civil partnership invitations

Reuters

A printing company in Ireland has turned down a business order because it was made by a man who wanted invitations printed to celebrate his civil partnership.

Beulah Print and Design of Drogheda, County Louth refused the commission from Jonathon Brennan because the staff were "Bible-believing Christians" who did not support same-sex marriage.

Mr Brennan, 29, a businessman, told the Irish Independent he was "infuriated and shocked". He had been a client of the printing company for four years. He is due to celebrate a civil partnership with his long-term partner John Kierans in August.

Mike O'Leary, a co-founder of Beulah Print and Design, told the BBC that he did not hold a "morally neutral" attitude towards homosexuality, although he accepted that some people did practise it.

He backed the actions of the Christian-owned Ashers Baking when they refused last year to bake a cake with a logo supporting gay marriage. The company also refuses to print material that promotes binge drinking, Halloween, "borderline pornography" and what he described as "the dark arts".

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Mr O'Leary co-founded the firm 12 years ago, after meeting Mr Tuite through Christian fellowship meetings in Drogheda.

The company 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.

"We believe the love of God is extended to all people and that He has called us all to walk in the light of His word, for He is the way, the truth and the life."

The Republic of Ireland is due to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in May.

In Northern Ireland, the dispute over the cake has led the Democratic Unionist Party to try to build a conscience clause into equality law.

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