Upper Bann MP David Simpson is urging local people to sign a petition in support of Asher’s Bakery.
The petition, which expresses concern over the use of public money being used by the Equality Commission to take legal action against a Christian Bakery who refused to make a cake with a pro-gay wedding message on it, has been launched by the DUP.
Local constituency offices in both Dromore and Banbridge have copies of the petition for people to sign.
“We believe it is important that the public stand up against this anti-democratic persecution of a small business by the Equality Commission and a waste of public funds by this Government body at a time of major budgetary pressures,” said Mr Simpson. We would encourage everyone to demonstrate their support by signing the petition in my Banbridge Office on Rathfriland Street.”
The petition reads: “We the undersigned express our concern at the use of public funds by the Equality Commission to pursue a prosecution against Asher’s Bakery because of their refusal to promote gay marriage. We note that Asher’s Bakery are not guilty of discrimination, they have not refused to sell their products to anybody on the basis of their sexual orientation nor have discriminated in any other way.
“We believe that businesses should have the freedom to decide what message they promote and what messages they do not promote. This is an essential choice in a free society and we believe that the action by the Equality Commission is anti-democratic, is discriminatory and is an abuse of public funds.”
Mr Simpson added: “Asher’s Bakery have fallen victim to the latest scathing campaign against Christianity in Northern Ireland. I want 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.”
MLA Brenda Hale also has a copy of the petition available in her Dromore constituency office.
“We note that Ashers Bakery is not guilty of discrimination, they have not refused to sell their products to anybody on the basis of their sexual orientation, nor have they discriminated in any other way,” said Mrs Hale.