Northern Ireland’s DUP would rather block gay marriage than form a government

Northern Ireland’s DUP has apparently laid down a ban on same-sex marriage as a ‘red line’ in the country’s ongoing power-sharing talks.

Northern Ireland is currently the only part of the UK without same-sex marriage because the ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party has employed peace process powers known as ‘petitions of concern’ to block all progress.

Following a devolved assembly election earlier this year, the DUP is required to form a new power-sharing government with second-largest party, Sinn Féin – but talks have repeatedly stalled.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, former DUP minister Jim Wells said that Sinn Féin’s insistence on same-sex marriage is a “red line” for his party that would prevent a government being formed.

He said: “Peter will not marry Paul in Northern Ireland.”
Northern Ireland’s DUP would rather block gay marriage than form a government
As there is already a majority for equality in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the DUP would not need to vote for same-sex marriage for it to pass. They would only need to allow a government to be formed, and not employ a veto against it.

But Mr Wells said even that minor compromise would split the party.

He said: “Don’t even think that. That’s an absolute no.

“Some of us would walk before that would happen. We feel very, very strongly about that.”

Of proposals for a civic forum that could lead to same-sex marriage, Mr Wells said: “We will strangle that idea at birth if that’s what it’s going to bring. Nobody wants it except Gerry Adams anyway.”

His remarks were condemned by Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon said:”Comments from Jim Wells that the DUP could split if there is equal marriage in the north highlights the attitude of that party to equality.His remarks show just how out of touch he and his party are

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