Respect for democracy and rights for the unbor

The DUP’s mandate must be respected.

Words like ‘respect’ and ‘equality’ are in vogue in recent times, but I wonder if those who use them have any understanding of their real meaning.

While I am not a member of the DUP (or any other party), respect compels me to acknowledge that the 292,316 votes they received in the election was 36% of the votes cast and the majority of the popular vote.

That majority vote was for a party accused in the popular English Press in recent days of being “dinosaurs” and even “homophobic”.

Some 292,316 people, however, voted for this party and were well-aware of their long-standing position on same-sex marriage and the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland.

Are we to turn democracy on its head to support the minority of thousands who march in support of same-sex marriage? Democracy and the democratic mandate must be respected.

The DUP’s position on the life of the unborn is equally well-known. Their stance is that of equality: human rights for all. Equal regard for the human rights of the most vulnerable in society; the person who has no voice, the unborn child.

While we must be sensitive to those who find themselves with an unwanted, pregnancy, pressure to change the law appears to ignore the legal maxim ‘hard cases make bad law’.

Unfortunately, since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act, most abortions would appear to be conducted for social reasons. Those, like myself, who have been involved in Christian ministry have seen the devastating effects of abortion – with mental disorders and death-bed trauma.

These results should be considered by those who shout the loudest about ‘respect’ and ‘equality’.

REV BRIAN KENNAWAY

Presbyterian minister (retired)

This letter appeared in the Belfast Telegraph  on Thursday 6 July 2017 and the Belfast Newsletter on 10 July 2017

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