Peter Tatchell: I hope the anti-gay Jehovah’s Witness wedding stationer is challenged
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is urging a gay couple who were refused service by a wedding stationer to challenge such “unlawful discrimination”.
Mr O’Reilly told PinkNews he was upset at the refusal, saying: “We would understand if her company was solely aimed at her religious group – but it’s not. She does not refuse anyone due to their religion yet she is quite happy to refuse us because of our sexuality.”
The couple have now chosen a different company to produce invitations for their wedding.
“I hope Gary Reilly and his fiancé will challenge this unlawful discrimination – for their own sake and for the sake of other same-sex couples,” Peter Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk.
“Homophobic discrimination is not a Christian value. I am shocked that anyone thinks it is. This wedding business is using faith to justify the denial of fair and equal treatment. That’s totally wrong.”
Stonewall’s Media Manager Richard Lane said: “The business may be called ‘Just For You Invitations’, but the law is absolutely clear that it cannot be just for straight people. Not only is it unlawful it just makes bad business sense too.”
The Equality Act 2010 states that it’s illegal to refuse to provide goods and services based upon a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) states anyone who thinks that they have been discriminated against unlawfully because of their sexual orientation should take steps to enforce their rights.
A DCMS spokesperson said: “A first step would be to make contact with someone who can give them advice in an individual case, such as the Equality and Advisory Support Service, and that’s what our advice would be to anyone who thinks they have been discriminated against.”