“The DUP’s entire political identity is built on wanting to remain within the UK, but they have no desire to move with the times and accept the fact that in every other jurisdiction within the UK gay people are allowed to marry.”
The DUP has scuppered a deal to return power sharing to Northern Ireland. The province has been without a functioning government for over 400 days because Arlene Foster and her crew cannot stomach the thought of gay marriage.
Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK which does not legally recognise gay marriage. Several attempts have been made to rectify this, but each of them have failed or been blocked as a result of DUP intransigence.
A mechanism built into the institutions to protect minority rights is now, rather ironically, being ruthlessly exploited by the DUP to deny legal protections to the LGBT+ minority community, which clearly underlines the point of how much these institutions need reforming.
Sinn Féin had insisted that any deal to restore power would be conditional on the DUP’s willingness to respect the will of the assembly and allow for the implementation of gay marriage. Unsurprisingly the DUP balked and there is no prospect of power being restored anytime soon.
Rooted In Bigotry and Oppression
To be fair, anybody who thought the party of Paisley would be likely to give way on this issue has obviously not been paying attention. It is, at its core, a violently oppressive body whose sole existence is rooted in bigotry and oppression.
The DUP has never been short on hatred, but they reserve a special kind of hatred for LGBT+ people. Our very existence offends the party. Its members may wrap it up in the language of a ‘traditional’ definition of marriage but when you peel back the surface we’re essentially dealing with a deeply homophobic organisation.
The DUP’s entire political identity is built on wanting to remain within the UK, but it has no desire to move with the times and accept the fact that in every other jurisdiction within the UK gay people are allowed to marry.
Calls have been made for Theresa May to directly legislate on the issue in the absence of a power-sharing deal, but that is extremely unlikely to happen. The Maybot has hitched her wagon to the DUP and the survival of her government rests on not pissing them off.
I have long since given up trying to understand religious reactionaries, and in particular the DUP. The party is dominated by the Free Presbyterian Church, the fundamentalist members of which seem to have made it their life’s mission to stand in the way of progress.
The truth is they don’t want to share power, land or privilege with anybody who isn’t white, straight and protestant, and through the accident of history that produced the troubles and all its trauma and discontent, they’re able to exert a disproportionate influence on the direction of the society.
As a result of Theresa May’s disastrous election miscalculation and her shameful arrangement with them, the DUP is sure to be protected from any meaningful pressure. Its members know this, and they’re loving every second of it.
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