Children’s charity Barnardo’s – which claims to still be “firmly based” on its Christian founder’s philosophy – has called for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
Unlike the rest of the UK, the Province defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman.
But Barnardo’s NI claims it is ‘standing up for the children and families it represents’ by calling for a redefinition.
‘Right for all’
They claim to be the first children’s charity to take such action in Northern Ireland and comes despite politicians repeatedly blocking such a move.
Barnardo’s Northern Ireland Director, Lynda Wilson, claimed that same-sex marriage should be a right and that it reflected her organisation’s “core belief that every person is different but equal”.
The comments come during Belfast’s Pride Festival.
The charity’s founder, Dr Thomas Barnardo, was a Christian who became so appalled at the deprivation of many young children in the 19th century that he opened homes to help them.
His aim was to “draw them in faith and love to the feet of our Saviour Christ”.
Barnardo’s own website has a document stating it is “proud of the Christian values and beliefs upon which we were founded”, while its NI branch states, “our work is still firmly based on the philosophy of our founder”.
Christian view of marriage
Barnardo’s has previously backed same-sex marriage in other areas of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Christians believe that marriage was given by God to be a good thing – and not just for followers of Jesus.
As The Christian Institute’s leaflet on the issue states, we uphold the biblical definition out of love – “love for God, and love for our fellow human beings in the whole of society”.