Leader of Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland Concerned That Christian Businesses Who Refuse to Serve Same-sex Couples Won’t be Protected as New Marriage Law Takes Effect

The Parliament for the Republic of Northern Ireland, based in Stormont, Belfast, Northern Ireland. | Facebook/Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast

A leader of Northern Ireland’s largest Christian denomination has raised concerns that a new marriage law passed this week, which doesn’t allow businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples on grounds of conscience, is a violation of religious freedom.

“We have a concern that in a tolerant society, people’s conscience and freedoms should be protected in the law — people who are involved in what may be termed the ‘marriage business’: photographers, florists, car hire firms, civil registrars,” the Rev. Daniel Kane, convener of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s council for public affairs, told Premier.