Ulster minister condemns ‘propaganda’ around gay marriage

Rev Dr Ian Brown
Rev Dr Ian Brown

A Free Presbyterian minister has said he would be “fairly hopeful” that same-sex marriage will not be introduced in Northern Ireland.

Rev Ian Brown, who succeeded Dr Ian Paisley at the Martyrs’ Memorial in Belfast, said: “I know there is significant opposition to it at this moment in time, and I would trust that will be maintained, but I am always aware that we are campaigning against a huge propaganda campaign.”

Rev Brown said people were puzzled how a minority issue could generate so many headlines, and added: “Any time I would tune in to BBC Radio Ulster, including Sunday Sequence and the Nolan Show, it is given a prominence that it doesn’t deserve if you are talking about one per cent and not many more of the population. You are talking about a miniscule proportion of the population that this whole campaign is being driven on behalf of.”

However, the openly gay mayor of North Down has welcomed same-sex marriages taking place in England and Wales.

Councillor Andrew Muir said a fresh debate on the issue could bring similar legislation to the Province.

“In order for that to become a reality in Northern Ireland, we need to engage in a widespread discussion across society to get agreement on that,” he said.

“Northern Ireland has changed quite a lot as a society. A majority of the electorate would be in favour of equal marriage, and that is to be welcomed – but for that to become a reality requires legislation from Stormont and to date that hasn’t happened.”