Belfast Telegraph

Presbyterian dismay at moves to legalise same-sex marriage in NI

The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill at Westminster includes amendments which would introduce the change.

The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill at Westminster includes amendments which would introduce the changes (The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill at Westminster includes amendments which would introduce the changes/PA)
The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill at Westminster includes amendments which would introduce the changes (The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill at Westminster includes amendments which would introduce the changes/PA)

The Presbyterian Church has expressed “dismay” at moves to legalise same-sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill at Westminster includes amendments which would introduce the changes.

We will continue to speak out in particular for the rights of unborn children who are among the most vulnerable in our society, and to encourage support and compassion for those expectant mothers who find themselves in difficult circumstances Dr William Henry

Church moderator in Ireland the Rev Dr William Henry said: “At a time when courageous and compassionate leadership is required to find a balanced accommodation that can serve the common good in Northern Ireland, it is deeply disappointing that parliamentary process has been used to bypass the devolution settlement agreed over 20 years ago.

“This legislation blatantly disregards our deeply held Christian values, which for centuries have provided a positive and cohesive framework for the protection of individuals and the benefit of society at large.”

He called for meaningful and detailed local consultation and pre-legislative scrutiny before any regulations are introduced to the Houses of Parliament.

“Our Church’s position has always been that decisions on abortion and same-sex marriage should remain the responsibility of our locally elected MLAs.

“We will continue to speak out in particular for the rights of unborn children who are among the most vulnerable in our society, and to encourage support and compassion for those expectant mothers who find themselves in difficult circumstances.

“The breadth and scope of the provisions of this Bill raise many questions with regard to its implementation, including what protections, if any, might be included.

“We therefore call on the Government to publish its legislative proposals with the utmost urgency to allow adequate time for local consultation and amendment within the restrictive timescales, before regulations are laid in the Houses of Parliament.”

PA

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