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Election Fever – Peter Robinson on Homosexuality

Editorial: During Election Fever it does happen that some leaders become leaders, some become leaders in waiting, and some become leaders who are wanting.  We would suggest that you view this interview with Peter Robinson, look at the history of the DUP, and decide for yourselves whether the DUP are a progressive party with LGBT rights built into their DNA!

So have the DUP  a policy over LGBT rights, Asa Bennett wrote in his column, that David Cameron would not find it easy to create an alliance with the DUP because of their track history, i.e.

Jim Wells  resigned as the DUP’s health minister after recently saying that “the gay lobby is insatiable, they don’t know when enough is enough”, adding: “The facts show that you certainly don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That child is far more likely to be abused or neglected”.

Iris Robinson, a former DUP MP and wife of the current party leader, Peter Robinson, described homosexuality as “disgusting, loathsome, nauseating, wicked and vile”, as well as an “abomination” that could be “cured”. Mr Robinson supported his wife’s remarks, saying: “It wasn’t Iris Robinson who determined that homosexuality was an abomination, it was The Almighty. This is the Scriptures. It is a strange world indeed where somebody on the one hand talks about equality, but won’t allow Christians to have the equality, the right to speak, the right to express their views.”

Obviously other parties have made comment on this interview,

Alliance Justice spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has criticised Peter Robinson’s remarks that if homosexuality was criminalised that he hoped they would obey the law.

Mr Robinson was questioned by the BBC on the remarks by his Mid Ulster Councillor, Paul McLean, who wanted homosexuality to be criminalised.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “These remarks are just the latest in a long line of disgraceful and appalling comments by the DUP about the LGBT community. It beggars belief that Mr Robinson would want men and women to deny their own sexuality. He is completely out of step with British values and core beliefs.

“It is an indication of Mr Robinson’s position on these issues that he did not condemn the views of his Councillor who wanted homosexuality to be criminalised.

“Mr Robinson has got himself tied up in knots. If you are asked a question on this issue then your answer should be that you would not support the criminalisation of homosexuality.

 

Further Reading:

ELECTION Fever: LGBT issues: Northern Ireland party views

Slugger O'Toole

Editorial :  Be careful who you vote for.  Educate yourself and your friends.

on 22 April 2015 , 8:23 pm
Research conducted by Ruth McCarthy highlights some stark differences between the parties contesting this years Westminster elections in Northern Ireland on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

LGBT Isues

A series of questions were asked:

1a Does your party visibly support LGBTQ equality issues in your party manifesto, on your website and in election campaigning materials?
If YES, please give examples. If NO, please state why.

1b Please give any other examples of how your party supports LGBTQ visibility.

2a What is your party policy on tackling homophobia and transphobia through education and training in schools?

2b What is your party’s record in actively tackling homophobia and transphobia through education and training in schools?

3a What is your party’s policy on addressing the serious health inequalities faced by LGBTQ people?

3b What is your party’s record in actively addressing the serious health inequalities faced by LGBTQ people?

4a Does your party support Equal Marriage for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland?

4b What is your party’s record in actively supporting Equal Marriage for same-sex couples?

5a Does your party support the Conscience Clause? 5b What is your party’s record in actively opposing the Conscience Clause?

6a Does your party support a total ban on gay men giving blood?

6b What’s your party’s track record in opposing the blood ban for gay men?

7 Does your party have any LGBTQ-identified candidates standing in the 2015 General Election?

8 Does your party have any mandatory training or education for staff around LGBTQ issues? If NO, do you plan to change this? Please outline when.

9 Trans communities in the UK And Ireland have united to produce a simple three point manifesto that they
are asking all 2015 Election candidates to support or decline. It takes less than a minute to read and you can find it at www.transmanifesto.org.uk

Does your party support or decline the three main principles?

A few samples on the question “Does your party support Equal Marriage for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland?”

SDLP: 

The SDLP supports the equal marriage campaign and we believe that civil marriage should be available to all regardless of sexual orientation.

Sinn Fein:

Yes. Sinn Féin actively campaign for marriage equality north and south. Sinn Féin have put for- ward motions for marriage equality before the As- sembly and local councils across Ireland. Represent- atives from the Marriage Equality Campaign gave a keynote address at Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2015 along- side elected representatives from Sinn Féin LGBT.

Green Party:

Yes. We support freedom of religion and freedom from religion. We believe that faith groups should be able to decide for themselves if they wish to solemnise same-sex weddings and this will work similarly to the recognition of divorce in the UK, whereby individual religious organisations can choose whether or not to recognise it or not, but it is state-recognised. We also support humanist groups being allowed to conduct same-sex marriages.

Alliance Party:

Yes/ Civil marriage should be available to same-sex couples on the same basis as different-sex couples. We do not believe that religious institutions should be required to conduct such marriages if they do not wish to do so.

DUP:

No. The DUP is opposed to marriage for same-sex couples and tabled a petition of concern ensuring the motion for Equality Marriage was blocked under the Northern Ireland Assembly’s cross- community voting rules. They blocked Marriage Equality motions a total of three times in 2013.

UUP:

No. Mike Nesbitt has stated that the party’s position on gay marriage was that it was a “matter of personal conscience”. Only one UUP MLA (Michael Copeland – Ed.) voted in favour of Equal Marriage. All others voted against or abstained.

TUV:

No. TUV supports “traditional family values” in its most recent manifesto and is outspokenly opposed to Equal Marriage. They also call for Civil Partnerships to be abolished.

Workers Party:

Yes. The Workers Party supports Marriage Equality.

UKIP:

No specific information. UKIP councillor David Silverster infamously claimed flooding in the UK in 2013 was God’s revenge for legalising gay marriage.

People Before Profit

Yes

Conservative Party of Northern Ireland:

No info available.

 

(N.B. ‘People Before Profit’ and the Ulster Unionist Party did not respond to the original survey questions. When we have them they will be uploaded and this post updated) 

(Disclaimer: this survey was NOT conducted by Slugger O’Toole – we encourage any parties featured or not featured to contact us) 

You can download the entire report here: LGBT NI Party Survey 2015 download

Alliance promises 'real' reforms for Northern Ireland

Long says party not going to Westminster with ‘a gun or a begging bowl’

East Belfast MP Naomi Long addresses those gathered for the Alliance Party’s general election manifesto launch yesterday

East Belfast MP Naomi Long addresses those gathered for the Alliance Party’s general election manifesto launch yesterday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reprinted from Belfast Telegraph: BY LESLEY-ANNE MCKEOWN – 17 APRIL 2015

The Alliance Party will not go to Westminster with a gun or a begging bowl, its only outgoing MP has claimed.

Naomi Long said if the party were successful in next month’s general election, it would take real “plans” for reform in Northern Ireland.

She said: “We are not going to Westminster to hold a gun to people’s heads and threaten chaos if we don’t get our way.

“Neither are we going to Westminster with a begging bowl constantly asking for more.

“We are going to Westminster with plans for reform to change Northern Ireland.”

Ms Long was speaking at the Alliance Party’s manifesto launch in the Metropolitan Arts Centre (Mac) in Belfast city centre yesterday.

The Alliance Party deputy leader is facing one of the toughest electoral battles against the agreed unionist candidate – Gavin Robinson of the DUP – for East Belfast. In 2010, she produced one the biggest shocks of the campaign, ousting long-standing DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson.

The Alliance manifesto includes a pledge to reduce or abolish air passenger duty to improve air connectivity between Northern Ireland, the UK and the rest of Europe.

It also promises to improve the rights of the LGBT community and aims to bring the region into line with the rest of the UK by lifting the ban on gay and unmarried couples adopting and the ban on gay men donating blood.

There is further support for a “mansion tax”, provided a mechanism is developed which would allow the asset-rich but cash-poor to defer payment.

Ms Long said the 32-page document would not be allowed to gather dust or be discarded in a recycling bin but would be used to guide politicians for crucial votes. “It will be, as our last one was, a living, breathing, working document that will guide how we deliver on that vision of the way forward,” she added.

In the event of a hung parliament, the Alliance Party would be guided by policy and values, Ms Long said.

The Alliance Party is fielding candidates in all 18 constituencies.

Leader David Ford said he did not expect success in all constituencies but said the party was compelled to offer voters a choice.

“Of course it is the case that we are not expecting to win in a number of those constituencies,” he said.

“We are merely putting our view forward.”