Will The Tory – DUP Deal REALLY Affect Gay Rights?
June 13, 2017
We have been hearing a lot about the DUP recently. Our Irish friends from across at the border look like they will be propping up the minority Conservative government for the foreseeable future, and that has caused a great deal of concern for anyone who is interested in gay rights.
We have been told that these are ‘devolved issues’ and that the DUP’s ‘anti-gay, anti abortion’ agenda won’t affect UK policy in general. In simple terms, the DUP won’t be able to get the Conservatives to roll back on gay and women’s rights with threats of pulling the plug if they don’t do it as it is up to each country what they do. However, news coming from Scotland shows that this may be more of a worry than the powers that be would have you believe.
A former Scottish minister has said that the DUP formally tried to get Scotland to stop allowing Northern Irish couples getting married in Scotland.
Ex-SNP minister Marco Biagi said that when the DUP was in the Stormont Executive he got an official letter from them, asking him to stop access to gay marriage, which is not legal in Northern Ireland.
Mr Biagi, who is himself gay, was the SNP’s Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment from November 2014 to May last year.
He said he of course refused the request.
DUP boss Arlene Foster has always said her party is not anti-gay, but just believes in the traditional view of marriage between men and women. If Mr Biagi is right, then that claim will be in tatters as this seems like an aggressive attack on the gay community of Northern Ireland.
It has to be said, there are Conservatives who aren’t too impressed with getting into bed with this bunch.
In a rather unsubtle dig at the plan, Ms Davidson on Friday tweeted a link to a speech she made in support of same-sex marriage, with the message: “As a Protestant Unionist about to marry an Irish Catholic, here’s the Amnesty Pride lecture I gave in Belfast.”
Ms Davidson does say she has been told by the PM that gay marriage won’t be affected by the deal. We hope this is the case.
But as in any party political deal, the weaker the major player becomes, the more the lesser player can take advantage. It is like the roles are completely reversed. There is a good chance that the DUP may make an attempt to affect social issues. Yes, the Conservatives may say ‘piss off, we are having an election’, but there is always that danger.
Let me just say that this isn’t a political rant. The Northern Irish can vote for whoever they want, it isn’t my business. I am also not here to say whether I am Labour or Tory. My only interest is in the idea that hard won gay marriage rights are not affected by a shock election result. The same goes for the woman’s right to choose.
Not Likely To Happen
The good thing is, that even if the DUP pushed for it, stuff like this is a free vote. That means all 650 MP’s can vote with the conscience, not on party lines. Therefore there is very little chance that any of it could get through parliament. Therefore, I wouldn’t worry too much about what is going to happen. Gay rights are here, and I can’t see them going anywhere fast.
We are heading one way in that direction. One day, even in Northern Ireland, the DUP will find themselves on the wrong side of that argument domestically.
That indeed will be a good day. Everyone here at Escort England will continue fighting for it.
Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.
When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
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