Kicking and Screaming: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. While local representatives refused point blank to deal with issues relating to basic human rights, UK parliamentarians legislated to allow abortion services and marriage equality in Northern Ireland. This hasn’t stopped people advancing their supremacist views however.

The most prominent arguments to deny abortion services centre on the protection of life. Moreover, there is an overwhelming stench of sexism and a stereotypical belief that underpins some arguments against abortion services. Simply put however, the availability of abortion services do protect life. By having the choice, women can assess their situation and decide what is best for herself and the child. If the situation is favourable she may decide to carry until term. If the situation is less favourable then an abortion may be the best option for the woman. To deny a woman the choice of abortion is to condemn a nation to fascism.

Similarly, to discriminate against people based on sexual preference is no different to discriminating based on religion or race. I acknowledge that marriage between a man and a woman as in the bible was a religious ceremony. However, due to the ubiquitous nature of Christianity in Europe and the Americas the ceremony subsequently became commonplace throughout these societies. Marriage was no longer a religious ceremony as it came with legal consequences and thus became a civil act. Consequently, as societies become more pluralistic imposing religious restraints on society is not an option. Therefore, marriage should not be limited to heterosexual relationships.

More pluralist societies are becoming normal and eroding barriers. Nothing should come at the expense of the collective group. Legislation must reflect this. It does now to a degree in Northern Ireland.

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