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DUP demand protections for not-at-all homophobic Christians who want no part in same-sex marriages

Josh Milton February 27, 2020
DUP Westminster leader Jeffrey Donaldson (L) alongside DUP MLA Gordon Lyons (R). (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

DUP Westminster leader Jeffrey Donaldson (L) alongside DUP MLA Gordon Lyons (R). (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Democratic Union Party (DUP) chief whip Jeffrey Donaldson had demanded extra protections for not-at-all homophobic Christians in Northern Ireland who do want to be involved in same-sex weddings.

Earlier this month, marriage registry offices exploded with colour after marriage equality was enshrined onto the country by British lawmakers, packed with queer couples eager to embrace their new historic right.

While Westminster lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to extend marriage equality to the last patch of the UK without it, DUP members have scrambled to derail it. The country’s first minister, Arlene Foster, has launched relentless and scathing critiques against the law.

As the finer details of the law are drafted by lawmakers, DUP members squirmed as the government refused to give an “opt-out” clause to wedding service providers – such as florists, hotels and photographers – last week.

MP says Christians should discriminate gay couples, also says ‘no one should be discriminated’ in society. 

Jeffrey Donaldson issued a statement Thursday to News Letter in retaliation following the earlier closure of a government consultation of what the regulations around same-sex marriages should be introduced.

The Lagan Valley member of parliament told the paper: “The DUP maintains its longstanding view of traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“We believe the decision by cross-bench MPs at Westminster to legislate in this area was wrong in principle and deficient in due process. Such a breach of the purposes of devolution is of deep concern with lasting consequences.”

Democratic Unionist party Jeffrey Donaldson. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Donaldson added: “While we can support the proposal to exempt churches and other religious bodies from requirements to provide, arrange, facilitate, participate in or solemnise a same-sex marriage, they do not extend far enough.

“Northern Ireland’s unique social and religious fabric must be accounted by protections that are not just comparable to a provision in England and Wales but enhanced.”

While advocating that Christian institutions and leaders should be able to discriminate against same-sex couples, he then explained that “no one should be discriminated against in any way”.

He added: “We must find a way to accommodate in society, rather than looking for ways to litigate against each other.”

Northern Ireland’s first gay married couple not impressed with DUP attacks. 

Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards casually leapt into history books this month as the first wed same-sex couple following the legalisation of equal marriage this year.

Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards kiss after they became the first legally married same sex couple in Northern Ireland on February 11, 2020 in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.
Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards kiss after they became the first legally married same sex couple in Northern Ireland on February 11, 2020 in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

However, Foster lashed out at British lawmakers for “imposing” same-sex marriage and abortion on Northern Ireland.

Robyn told PinkNews that neither she or her partner are impressed by the lawmaker’s statement.

“For her job role I just don’t know understand she could say that and dictate to other people how to live their lives,” Robyn said.

“It is not being forced on anyone; people had to fight for this for years.”

It’s the 21st century. No one should dictate to you how to live your life.

“They are saying it’s OK for other people to discriminate and that is wrong.”

More: Christianity, DUP, equal marriage, Jeffrey Donaldson, Northern Ireland, Religion

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