With reference to the recent referendum in the Republic of Ireland regarding gay marriage, may I be permitted to make a few comments?
I am a native of the Republic, though having lived most of my life in Northern Ireland (but still with family connections in the South).
It seems to me that Friday May 22 should be regarded as a day of tears - not a day of rejoicing (the latter suggested by Enda Kenny). I am glad that Northern Ireland has resisted calls to follow the Republic in this matter and will, I hope and pray, continue to do so.
For a number of reasons I am an advocate of traditional marriage: first, because it is the Christian/biblical stance; our laws having been based on the teaching of the Bible for 2,000-plus years.
Marriage is primarily for the creation of children (as also for companionship and comfort). Thus the future of any nation is bound up in the family and children for each new generation. All those young people pictured in our news media in recent days should be looking for a boy or girlfriend to marry and have children of their own.
Children need both mother and father... male and female role models, for love, care, protection, provision, discipline, and the basic need of bathing and feeding when infants.
The argument that love is enough is not enough - because someone loves another man’s wife or another woman’s husband, that does not legitimise such love. Those people advocating such a lifestyle (as voted for in the Republic of Ireland) are, I believe, only about 2 per cent. Let them behave as they wish privately, out of public view.
Finally, if we as a people, do not accept the teaching of the Bible where will we get our morals from? Christianity, when practised according to the Bible, has brought great good wherever it has gone – but we flout the laws of God at our peril. Sadly, nowadays the laws of God are generally ignored, with daily reports of murder, violence, abuse of children, misuse of the name of God, broken families, stealing, lying, adultery, plus forgetfulness of Sunday as a day of rest and worship. And children no longer attend Sunday school, where they can be taught the laws of God.
If gay marriage continues to increase, where will the brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins be?
And what about people who cannot accept such a lifestyle because of their Christian beliefs? How often will such situations as the disgraceful treatment of Ashers bakery be repeated?
Let us not turn away from what is, and has proved to be good and of great value in our nation, to something which is the very opposite!
Very concerned citizen, Belfast