Moves to legalise gay marriage are part of a wider “attack on society” with far-reaching consequences, a DUP MP has warned.
In a grim assessment of the state of UK society, Ian Paisley Jr said that same-sex marriage will likely lead to the age of consent being reduced and be followed by attempts to legalise euthanasia.
The North Antrim MP told a Christian TV channel that there were “challenges” for the “morality of the nation” and urged Christians to vote for candidates who support their beliefs.
Mr Paisley – whose comments about gay marriage on the BBC’s Question Time last week divided opinion – spoke out strongly about that issue but said that he believed other radical changes opposed by many Christians would arise.
In a deeply personal interview with Christian satellite channel Revelation TV, Mr Paisley also revealed that he has not been attending the church founded by his father since Dr Paisley’s retirement but now attends an Elim church with his wife.
During the interview, Mr Paisley was asked about the “challenges” which he sees facing the country.
He said: “First of all, I think there are challenges on the morality of the nation.
“I think the huge and significant change that the Government is pursuing with regards to marriage is significantly damaging and I think that is a challenge which goes right to the heart of society...I think that we’re going to see other challenges; I think we are going to see a very decisive attempt over the years ahead to reduce the age of consent for sexual relations – again, that’s an attack on society.
“I think that will flow from this change to the marriage law. I think there’s going to be another attempt to try and introduce euthanasia in the United Kingdom; another attack on society.
“You know, society isn’t God. God has his ways for people to live their life and if you stray outside those boundaries, ultimately you impact on how society is formed.
“I think that is a very, very significant challenge.”
Mr Paisley said that it was important that he demonstrated to those who disagree with him “that I don’t hate them”.
Mr Paisley was also asked about his church attendance and told the programme that he no longer attended the Free Presbyterian Church founded by his father because it did not have a permanent minister.
He said: “Since my father has resigned or retired as a minister we haven’t got a minister in Martyrs Memorial Church and that is my home church. So I’ve kind of...I’m waiting for the church to adopt a new minister; it’s been a year now and I hope they are able to get a new minister; I look forward to that. But in the meantime I’ve been able, I suppose, to go and worship other places.”
Mr Paisley said that his wife was a member of the Elim Church and he had been attending that church.