Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid challenge DUP official over homophobic views
Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid challenged a Democratic Unionist Party official over homophobic views within the party.
The Conservative Party is trying to seal a deal with Northern Ireland’s ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party, which is strongly opposed to LGBT rights.
The party’s stance on equality has been under scrutiny, as many of the MPs that Theresa May will be relying on harbour actively homophobic views.
One of the party’s former ministers, Nelson McCausland, spoke to Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.
Morgan challenged Mr McCausland over one of the party’s MPs, Ian Paisley Jr, who says he is “repulsed” by gay people.
The politician responded: “The Democratic Unionist Party has a range of views among its members.
“It’s a socially conservative party and supports the traditional definition of marriage, but there are members of the Conservative Party on the backbenches who would share similar views. There’s nothing unusual about that.”
Challenged to name a single Tory MP who has publicly claimed to be “repulsed” by gay people, he added: “You picked me up wrong… there are people in the Conservative Party who voted against the redefinition of marriage.”
Piers Morgan added: “People are concerned that as part of the deal-making process, our Prime Minister may acquiesce to some of these views in a negative way, on the lesbian and gay community in this country.”
Mr McCausland replied: “Issues around the definition of marriage are devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly, so the DUP members at Westminster would not be dealing with those issues. They are matters for the devolved assembly and I don’t think they’ll even arise in the discussions,
Susanna Reid challenged: “Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is still outlawed, it feels like you’re rather behind the times in this issue which Conservatives have actually lead on.”
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But the former MLA insisted: “That’s the nature of devolution… devolution allows Scotland to do things its way, Wales can do things a different way and it’s the same in Northern Ireland. It’s simply the reality of devolution.
“[Continuing to block gay marriage] is the position of the party.
“When you come to the discussions taking place between the DUP and Conservatives, these things won’t even be on the agenda. It just seems some folk have a fixation on this.”
Piers Morgan hit back: “You say fixation… correct me any of this is wrong, but you’re a climate change denier, you think that homosexuality is wrong, you’re a creationist and you’re anti-abortion.
“These are views held by many people in the DUP. Whether they’re devolved or not as issues, the problem people over here have is what kind of mentality do they have, that Theresa May is prepared to rely solely on their support now to run a government over here?”
Mr McCausland replied: “My personal view is… the Biblical position is, the relationship between man and woman should be within marriage, and the traditional definition of marriage is right.
“The fact is, these aren’t even issues that are being discussed by Theresa May and Arlene Foster… the focus, really, should be on Brexit.”