A letter written by DUP leader Arlene Foster seeking to prevent Northern Irish couples from converting their civil partnerships in Scotland has been released by the Scottish government.
Stories about the existence of such a letter – of which Foster has denied any recollection of having sent – surfaced last week.
Yesterday, the Scottish government’s official website published correspondence from 2015 between Marco Biagi, then Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, and members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Foster wrote to the Scottish government in 2015 asking ministers in Edinburgh to prevent same-sex couples from Northern Ireland from converting their civil partnerships into full marriages, while she was a minister in the Northern Ireland assembly at Stormont.
In the letter Foster highlighted legal complications stemming from a potential “dual status” scenario – one where a couple could be considered civil partners in Northern Ireland, but spouses in Scotland.
Biagi rejected the request, saying it would “not be appropriate” to exclude NI couples from availing of the legislation, reports The Irish Times.
Now a former government minister, Biagi released the correspondence when it became clear that Theresa May needed the DUP to help prop up the new minority Tory government at Westminster, reports The Guardian.
“I’m not quite sure what he (Mr Biagi) was referring to but it certainly wasn’t a letter from me and I’ve no recollection of a letter from me,” Foster told BBC Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics show last week.
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