herald

Monday 23 October 2017

‘Christian’ firm won’t print gay couple’s invites

John Kierans and Jonathon Brennan pictured at home in Drogheda . A printers in Drogheda refused to print the invitations to their civil partnership
John Kierans and Jonathon Brennan pictured at home in Drogheda . A printers in Drogheda refused to print the invitations to their civil partnership

THE owners of a company which refused to print invitations for a gay couple’s civil partnership ceremony say they did so because their business is “dedicated to God”.

Jonathon Brennan (29), from Drogheda, Co Louth, said he was “infuriated and shocked” when the owner told him they would not do business with him, stating “we don’t agree with homosexuality”.

The salon owner, who will enter into a civil partnership to his boyfriend of eight years, John Kierans (35), in August, said he had been doing business with the printers for four years before the refusal.

Mr Brennan today told of his hurt at what has transpired. “I was horrified, horrified,” he said.

“I always felt this company did a good job, and never did I ever think that this would have been an issue with them,” he said.

Mr Brennan said he would have appreciated it if he had been made aware of the conflict of interest “and I would have taken my business elsewhere four years ago.”

“But the thing that has hurt me the most is they were happy to take my money for four years,” he said.

When asked if he will do business with the printers again, Mr Brennan said: “No, I can’t say I will.”

He pointed out that the invitations were for a civil partnership ceremony.

“Myself and John are very aware that Ireland hasn’t voted yet. That is not until May 22. We don’t have gay marriage. It is a civil partnership, and myself and John wanted to be very clear in our invitations that were going out that it says civil partnership, it doesn’t say marriage, because it is not something we have.”

However, Noel Tuite and Mike O’Leary, co-owners of Beulah Print & Design in Drogheda, said they were devout “Christians” and it would be contrary to their beliefs to print the material.

“We offer people the opportunity to talk about faith when they come in. We don’t hide the fact that we’re a Christian-based business,” said Mr O’Leary.

Mr Tuite said it’s “not the first time” that they’ve turned away business on the basis of religious grounds.

“There are certain things that we don’t print, such as pornographic posters, male strip shows ... whatever it is,” he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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