Monday, 1 December 2014

The debate continues in the Belfast Telegraph

I have another letter in this morning's Belfast Telegraph because my last one garnered a response from a fellow reader. I spent almost a full day redrafting the letter to get the right balance only for part of that balance to be edited out of the published letter. I am including the cuts from the original in red especially as sadly I think some of the editing makes it look like a Christian baiting letter.

Here then in the letter:

I would like to thank Dermot O'Callaghan (Write Back, November 28) for proving my point about those with privilege here holding all the power over equality.
Sadly, we have seen those with privilege down through history continually not being prepared to open up equality to those without it - whether it was slave-owners giving all men freedom, landowners giving all men the vote, or the established Church giving rights to non-conformist churches, or to other faiths. Men giving women the vote, rights to people of race, giving Roman Catholics the same voting rights as Protestants.
Now we see people proud to be British in all aspects but LGBT equality parading their flag, but ignoring the fact that they keep some British people as second-class citizens while, once again, things move on elsewhere.
Mr O'Callaghan says that all of us in Northern Ireland have the same rights and prohibitions as to whom we may marry. If by this he means that I may marry someone of the opposite sex, I feel it would be unfair to her as, at some point in the future, she would realise that I am not attracted to her. This would leave only hurt in the wake. Surely he would not want me (or any other lesbian or gay individual) to do that to someone else?But this is what has happened all too often in the past.
My original letter did not focus solely on equal marriage, which seems to be the only hang up for Mr O'Callaghan, but also referred to the science denial over the continuation of the MSM life time blood ban and the legal appeals against that and same-sex couples adopting. Issues that are designed to help others and give something to society. We are falling behind on equality measures not only with the rest of the country we belong to but also the the rest of the island we exist on.
What has been considered equality has been extended numerous times through history, what has happened in England, Wales and Scotland is just another manifestation of that. 
Many people here want to be treated fairly because of their faith, but use that to prevent others from being treated fairly.
Jesus spent time with those religious leaders considered unclean and told the parable of the Good Samaritan. He showed what equality really is about, treating those with as much respect as your loved ones.

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