Published Friday, 13 July 2012
Millar Farr addressed the Sham Fight in Scarva. (© UTV)
Speaking at the annual re-enactment of the Battle of the Boyne in Scarva, Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, Millar Farr warned that "militant secularism is repressing the Christian viewpoint".
The main concern raised in his speech was the legalisation of same-sex marriage, which he argued would force the Church to comply with carrying out ceremonies for fear of breaking the law.
"Recently a Government Minister said that Churches or establishments which presently conduct weddings would not be forced to comply with such legislation if it is enacted," he said.
"The Minister has lost touch with reality, for once such weddings are accepted in law and participants are refused a Church ceremony, how long will it be before that decision is tested in the European Court.
"If and when that occurs we all know what the ruling will be, the Church concerned will be in breach of the law and will undoubtedly be directed to comply with the request to carry out the ceremony."
The grand master's speech also commemorated the upcoming centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The annual event remembers when William of Orange and 30,000 of his men camped in the Co Down village on the way to the 1690 Battle of the Boyle near Drogheda against King James and his army.
Thousands of tourists flock to see the 'sham fight' recreate the battle with re-enactors in full costume.
Tourism Minister Arlene Foster and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson were also at the event.
"I've been here on a number of occasions as Minister for Tourism because what a spectacle it is at Scarva every year," Ms Foster said.
"One hundred thousand people come out to enjoy Scarva and the weather here of course is just making it even better."
"I must have walked past at least 25,000 people going right down the hill, I saw four police officers who were just chatting to the locals," Mr Paterson said.
"I think this is typical of the 4,000 parades that take place right across Northern Ireland and bring huge pleasure to very large numbers of people, an integral part of the culture of Northern Ireland."
© UTV News