Dear Mr [Mark] Durkan,
I write to you today in your capacity as a senior member and former leader of the SDLP and, as such, one who remains influential in the formulation of party policies.
During the Westminster debate on 08/02/13 personally, (and presumably also acting as the party spokesman), you expressed full support for the enactment of legislation that would permit the granting of marital status, instead of civil partnership, to same sex couples. In doing so you replicated the support your MLA colleagues gave to Alliance and Sinn Fein in the combined failure of the three parties to introduce similar legislation at Stormont last year. On that occasion the DUP and Ulster Unionist Party proved steadfast in defence of Christian doctrine.
I and many of my relations and friends reject the liberal theology and a-la-carte Catholicism practised by so many of our politicians nowadays.
I have been a supporter of this party since its establishment by John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Seamus Mallon and Austin Currie. It saddens me greatly to see it haemorrhaging so many members to pro-abortion Sinn Fein. (I have a letter from one of their MLAs confirming that as legislators they are obliged to provide abortion facilities). We need the SDLP to return to their founding principles.
The Mid-Ulster seat is soon to be fought for and the various candidates shall be seeking support. I pray that church leaders, of all denominations, will not be found wanting in the need to guide those voters for whom they are all spiritually responsible. After all God has given them the inalienable right and duty to inform their Church members on matters of faith and morals.