The Fellowship of Independent Methodist Churches has been greatly concerned by the Equality Commission's decision to take legal proceedings against Ashers Bakery, a Christian-owned family business, over its determination to hold to Biblical principles.
It's clear that Ashers were not refusing to serve a customer because of their perceived sexual orientation. They were being asked to ice the cake with words which promoted a specific political position in favour of same-sex marriage. The owners of Ashers hold to the principle that marriage is between a man and a woman which is still the legal position in Northern Ireland as well as the traditional Christian position. For them to be victimised because of this is patently outrageous, and flies in the face of common sense.
We believe in equality for all sections of society and the right to live their lives according to their personal views. This action by the Equality Commission is an attempt to deny evangelical Christians this right to live by the teaching of the Word of God.
We wish to see a society in which differences are tolerated - not one in which Christian people are required to deny their Christian convictions and forced to promote anti-scriptural teachings.
REV WILLIAM R PARK
Chairman of FIMC General Council