County Armagh, Ireland – A Christian printer in Ireland is facing the threat of a lawsuit after declining to publish a profane homosexual magazine.
Reports state that Nick Williamson of Bluefire Media in County Armagh was approached last month by editor Danny Toney of MyGayZine for a printing quote. However, as the two communicated via email, and Williamson realized that the publication was to promote homosexuality and was timed to release with the Belfast pride parade in June, he would not provide the quote.
The latest issue of the magazine, which is currently posted online, includes a full two-page advertisement for “the number one gay entertainment company,” which offers male and female strippers, topless waitresses, “naughty butlers” and drag acts. One article regards discussion of a photograph of a woman that was manipulated to appear as if she was kissing herself, and another features nude pictures of singers Rihanna and Raynanna, with words written across their breasts to barely cover the exposure of their chests.
“There are some types of work I do not feel comfortable taking on and this is definitely one them,” Williamson wrote to Toney. “Unfortunately, due to the nature of the magazine, we are unable to give a quote.”
Toney then requested clarification of Williamson’s concerns, who advised that he could not assist in the publication of the homosexual material.
“Once he came back and was open about the reasons for refusing, I was shocked about how blatant he was,” Tony told The Guardian. “I felt hurt and annoyed and confused. Why? How could anybody refuse a service just for that one reason? It was embarrassing, too. It’s shaming.”
However, Williamson, who is now seeking assistance and legal advice from The Christian Institute in England, told the organization that it would violate his conscience and beliefs as a Christian to publish material supportive of the homosexual lifestyle.
Toney has reported the matter to the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland and is has also approached an attorney that specializes in homosexual issues. He is currently considering filing a lawsuit.
“If we can take the printer to court, we will,” he told reporters. “Part of the reason we started this magazine in the first place was in order to fight homophobia and to bring it to people’s attention. Things have improved for gay people in Northern Ireland in the last five or six years but there’s still a long way to go.”
In a recent article about the matter, Toney also wrote, “Christians concealing prejudices behind faith is unacceptable. Who gave anyone the right to go dipping into the Bible like it’s a buffet, picking and choosing which parts you want to follow or quote to support an agenda of hate?”
“These outdated views should not be tolerated in 2013,” he asserted.
According to the Equality Act of 2010, businesses in the UK are not permitted to refuse services based on sexual orientation. A bed and breakfast lost a lawsuit last year after refusing to provide a room to two homosexual men because of the statute.
The Christian Institute reports that a Christian printer in Canada lost a similar lawsuit in 2000 after he declined to print stationery for a homosexual business. However, it notes that the court asserted that the printer would not be mandated “to print material of a nature that could reasonably be considered to be in direct conflict with the core elements of his religious beliefs or creed.”
In the United States, a number of states have groups similar to Ireland’s Equality Commission, usually referred to as the Human Rights Commission. Several businesses across the nation are likewise facing lawsuits and fines for their refusal to accommodate immoral conduct.
Christian News Network has reported on a number of related cases, such as the story of a photographer in New Mexico that was forced to pay nearly $7000 in fines for declining to shoot a same-sex commitment service, and the Vermont bed and breakfast owners who settled a lawsuit with two lesbians who were told by an employee that they could not hold their commitment service on the property. A Kentucky t-shirt screening company was also recently punished by the state Human Rights Commission for declining to complete a work order involving t-shirts that were to be worn at a local homosexual pride parade.
Photo: Andrew Parnell