I will push for LGBT rights within the SDLP


In response to the letter from S. Jones, Newry (October 12) I wish to put on record that I have neither been selected nor expressed an interest to run for the SDLP in the upcoming assembly elections.

However I believe in the message and the vision of the SDLP and, as a party activist, would have no reservations representing the party in the future.

As a member of the LGBT community, I share a lot of your frustrations but I genuinely believe that people’s opinions need to be challenged and not attacked.

Over the decades, public opinion has dramatically shifted in favour of equal marriage across this island. Opinions were changed largely due to the loud and unwavering voice of the LGBT community.

As a member of that community, I will continue to make the case for marriage equality and equal rights for the LGBT community with both my party colleagues and the wider community.

Personally, I am extremely offended by parties playing politics with this issue. It would serve us better as a community to focus our efforts on pursuing equality, rather than partaking in political point-scoring.

Encouraging more people from different backgrounds to get involved politically would be a helpful start, rather than registering your complete disgust at the future possibility.

Peter Byrne, Crossmaglen