Wednesday 25 April 2018

Ashers Roadshow audeince don't care about impact on ALL Christians

So I see that this evening in Portadown a hall was full with people apparently to raise concern about the impact on the life of the owners of Ashers ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on this case.

This I will keep short and sweet. Have any of the 100s who were gathered ever taken a stand for any member of their church community who has come out as LGB or T? I know I am not the only Christian in Northern Ireland who has been condemned by their own church for their so called "lifestyle" and yes that was the word used to me. Something that I never brought up in the church environment in a public platform but always discussed on a one to one basis, when needed or asked. Something that was brought to an emergency Session meeting that took many elders, especially one my mother, totally by surprise.

This is happening all the time and sadly happening to people who unlike me aren't as prepared for what will happen. People who don't have a network both of fellow Christians and others who will provide the support. People who haven't come to their own peace with their faith and sexuality.

The roadshow rolls on and tomorrow will be in my home town within site of a place I once considered taking my own life because of the condemnation of comments such as this from Christians. That is the impact that these people should be thinking of.

PS as far as I am aware none of the locations that are hosting these meetings this week are actually endorsing the message of the Christian Institute, the McArthur family and Ashers bakery they are just providing them with a means to express their view.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

No Irish Need Apply - For Northern Irish Jobs

I seen a story today about 21 jobs in the UK Border Force to be based in Belfast. The advert for the jobs states that to apply you have to be a UK passport holder. Until recently this would not have been an issue for me as I held two passports, however when my British passport ran out I didn't immediately renew waiting to see the outcome of the Brexit referendum. As a result of that I haven't renewed my British one and only retain my Irish Passport.

I was born in the UK. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement as someone born in Northern Ireland I am entitled to identify as British, or Irish or both. Also under the terms of that agreement I should not be discriminated against because of my choice. However, the above advert if I wanted to apply for the job I would currently be excluded.

However, this is not the first time I have seen a public service related job advertised here in Northern Ireland lately being advertised as must have a valid UK Passport.

In recent months I have been outraged that the UK Government has been ignoring its own 1971 Immigration Act in how it has behaved over the Windrush generation. It also seems that in it own advertising for jobs here in Northern Ireland it is also breaching the 1998 Northern Ireland Act in advertising positions for UK passport holders only. Since Brexit many in Northern Ireland have taken up the option, if they hadn't already, of getting a Irish passport to have the ease of access to the EU post-Brexit.