It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the truth that I am pro Choice and I am unashamedly so. I was always afraid to say it because of the nature of NI's deeply conservative society and how it would reflect on my character.
After changes to the law allowing same-sex marriage in England, Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland is now the only place in the UK where gay couples are barred by law from getting wed... The latest court challenge may be the first in a series of cases necessary to ensure that gay people in every part of the UK have an equal right to marry the person they love.
The Cruiser had some of those tasteful elements admired by many writers, myself included. The consummate internationalist, he believed that people understand one another if they want to, no matter how great the language barrier.
In the years since 1971, I have travelled the length and breadth of Europe to investigate human rights violations. If there is one thing I have learned, time does not heal all wounds if the truth doesn't come out and justice is not done.
Sinn Féin's Danny Morrison once said: "every word spoken in Irish is another bullet in the freedom struggle'' in Northern Ireland. I'd strongly disagree with such a statement, but instead, I'd like to make a new version: Every time the DUP say "Never", as Campbell said about an Irish Language Act, the party's chances of bearing a future generation weaken.
2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire which triggered the Northern-Ireland 'Peace Process'. This marked the end of a vicious thirty-year conflict known as 'The Troubles'; the ethno-nationalist conflict which set those who wanted to see Northern Ireland remain a part of the United Kingdom against those who wanted to see it integrated into a 'United Ireland'.
Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK where abortion is still illegal in the most extreme circumstances of rape, fatal foetal abnormality and incest. While women in England, Scotland and Wales who need an abortion can have the procedure carried out on the NHS, for free, with all the support they need at an extremely difficult time in their lives, women in Northern Ireland are faced with an unenviable choice.
Supporters of Lord Morrow's Bill eliminated from their agenda the safety of the very women they claim are vulnerable. They attempted to defame those who do not back the criminalisation of the purchase of sex as supporters of sex trafficking in order to undermine their arguments. They should have properly examined the available evidence and consulted with those to whom the legislation applies: sex workers themselves.
The Union abides. Change is afoot, utterly. Scotland gets more power. England evolves. Wales will do its thing. Change is afoot - Except in Northern Ireland.
Across the UK, children have been the biggest winners, their lives having been transformed on every level by the HRA. Victims of crime and sex offences in particular have also been significant beneficiaries of the HRA. And the other identifiable group whose lives have been altered beyond recognition has been the gay and lesbian community.
If it's Scotland's pound, as Alex Salmond said, it's the people's Scotland. Let us stay together, all of us. Just as Britain is the product of collective endeavour, so Scotland is the product of the shared effort of these islands.
This is a divided, vivisected Northern Ireland. This is the inheritance of Paisleyism, a noxious, nefarous ideology that broke and bankrupted Northern Ireland for decades and which now stands firm against reconciliation and a plurality of views.
I may not always be proud of Northern Ireland, but I will never cease to be proud of my family for the qualities I need to live in a country of religious divide without prejudice.
We're left with a leader that is devoid of leadership capacity, lumbered with the charisma of a damp rag, the vision of a mole and all the on-camera tact of a 14 year old pubescent man-child. A sepulchral sod. Goodness knows the manner off-camera. So let me say it again, it's the man, not the House, who's no longer fit for purpose.
So here I am, 25 and without my driving licence. For the first time I'm actually embarrassed about it. I had never considered that there would be a day when I'd feel judged for not having accomplished what my sister achieved six weeks after turning seventeen, or what my parents have been doing for a combined 70 years.
In Ireland, news not involving Garth Brooks has ceased to exist... Vanessa Feltz told of the time Rolf Harris sexually assaulted her... Christian bakers refused to heed a customer request for a cake with Bert and Ernie icing advocating marriage equality...