Stephen Farry stated: “This is yet another embarrassing gaffe from Iris Robinson. At a time, when Northern Ireland is trying to project a modern, progressive image to the rest of the world, it is bizarre for a senior politician from a party in government to say something like this.
“We do not and should not live in a theocracy. Everyone, including elected representatives, should live according to their own moral code, based on their own particular belief system. There should be freedom of religion for people to worship either individually or collectively.
“But the role of government is to represent the interest of society as a whole, and to protect the rights of every human being. As far as possible, there should be a separation between church and state. We must recognise that there are radically different interpretations of the bible, never mind the current reality of a multi-cultural and multi-faith society. When politicians speak of government having a responsibility to uphold ‘God’s law’, they invariably mean their own version of ‘God’s law’.
“History provides plenty of lessons on the dangers of imposing particular religious views on others.”