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Arlene Foster moans that same-sex marriage was ‘imposed’ upon Northern Ireland while missing an obvious point

Patrick Kelleher January 23, 2020
Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster (Charles McQuillan/Getty)

DUP leader Arlene Foster has been moaning – yet again – about how same-sex marriage and abortion were “imposed” on Northern Ireland by Westminster.

Same-sex marriage finally became legal in Northern Ireland on January 12 2020, with the first same-sex weddings expected to take place in the territory on Valentine’s Day.

Needless to say, Foster is unhappy about this development.

Arlene Foster wants Northern Ireland to have its ‘own voice heard’ – but this conflicts with her desire for full alignment with rest of UK.

Speaking on Peston on ITV, Foster said the Northern Ireland Assembly should have been left to make decisions itself on abortion and same-sex marriage, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

“Now what we need to do is – the Assembly is back and running – therefore we need to have our voice heard in relation to all of these issues because it will be a very different voice to what has been imposed on us from Westminster.

“There is unanimity across the chamber in regard to the fact that currently we have a position were abortions are available up to 27 weeks, which is totally unacceptable.

Same-sex marriage, like abortion, has been imposed upon Northern Ireland.

“There will be some argument about where that should come back to. I think everybody in Northern Ireland recognises that that is not a sustainable position.”

She continued: “Same-sex marriage, like abortion, has been imposed upon Northern Ireland.”

The DUP has fought for Northern Ireland to be treated the same as the rest of the UK in Brexit negotiations.

But Foster’s words betray a hypocrisy that has been at the core of the DUP’s opposition to same-sex marriage for some time.

The party has staunchly opposed same-sex marriage and abortion coming to Northern Ireland, and has blocked progress at every turn. But the party has been adamant that they should be treated the same as the rest of the UK in Brexit negotiations.

In 2018, Foster threatened to pull her support from the Conservative government if they proceeded with a deal that would have seen Northern Ireland given a joint EU/UK status.

Speaking to Sky News at the time, Foster said alignment must be maintained between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK – but this stance apparently did not extend to same-sex marriage and abortion.

The party has repeatedly argued that Northern Ireland must not be treated any differently to the rest of the UK. But their firm opposition to same-sex marriage has apparently seen that view go out the window.

If anything, Foster should be happy to have laws imposed by Westminster. It is, after all, exactly what she said she wanted: to be in full alignment with the rest of the United Kingdom.

 

More: Arlene Foster, DUP, Northern Ireland, same sex marriage

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