We look at the Northern Irish parties’ stance on LGBT issues.
The largest party Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has not mentioned LGBT issues at all in their manifesto. They have historically opposed any and all LGBT rights votes in Westminster and Stormont.
They most recently drafted a Conscience Clause which would exempt religious people from following equality laws.
The Alliance party has specifically opposed the DUP’s conscience clause, saying it is “poorly defined and is a charter for discrimination.” They also want to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK on issues such as same-sex marriage and gay men giving blood.
Sinn Féin, who had five seats in the last Parliament but do not take them, is the only party to specifically mention trans people. One of their pledges is: “Championing the cause of transgender people to ensure that they have equal access to goods, facilities and services.”
They also oppose the DUP’s conscience clause – declaring it “an attempt to erode human rights and reduce the effectiveness of equality legislation” – and have pledged to support marriage equality, and to address online homophobic and transphobic bullying.
The Social Democratic and Labour Party, who are traditionally partner to the Labour party, has pledged to campaign for equal rights for all, regardless of sex or sexual orientation. Similarly, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), historically partner of the Conservative party, has pledged to respect all sexualities.
The UUP also wants to ensure all children have age-appropriate teaching on sexual diversity.