Northern Irish DUP faces protests after ‘abusing’ peace powers to veto same-sex marriage

LGBT activists are planning to protest the conference of Northern Ireland’s DUP – after the party used powers from the peace process to veto same-sex marriage.

Same-sex weddings are now permitted in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland – but it continues to be blocked in Northern Ireland by the DUP.

Earlier this month a majority of the Northern Irish Assembly voted in favour of equal marriage by 53 to 51 – but the Democratic Unionist Party used a ‘petition of concern’  to strike proposals down for a fifth time.

The group has been criticised for “abusing” petitions of concern, which were introduced to encourage power-sharing and cross-community support between Unionists and Nationalists and allows MLAs to  ‘veto’ legislation they deem to harm one community.

As the DUP holds its party conference in Belfest this Saturday, a group of LGBT activists have announced a planned protest.

Courtney Robinson, spokesperson for the group ‘Fight4Equality‘, said: “On 2nd November, the DUP misused a petition of concern to block marriage equality, despite a majority of MLAs finally voting in favour and polls showing up to 68% support for same-sex marriage rights.

“It seems the DUP is democratic in name only.”

“Undoubtedly, protest and public pressure were key to winning a majority for marriage equality in the Assembly… politicians can and should be made to fear that opposing LGBT rights will lose them votes.”

Acknowledging other opponents of equality, she continued: “The DUP’s undemocratic manoeuvres are now the main barrier to winning marriage equality at Stormont.

“The fate of Jim Wells – who was forced to resign as Health Minister after making homophobic comments – is a warning to the DUP that ordinary people, including many of their voters, are sick of homophobia and want to live in a society free of discrimination.”

Organisers have warned participants not to use symbols or slogans “which could be perceived as sectarian or divisive”.

 

 

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments