Theresa May turns to N Irish bigots to keep her in power
A clot of homophobes, climate change deniers and creationists – collectively known as the Democratic Unionist Party – have been asked to form an alliance that will keep Theresa May’s Conservative Party in power.
According to The Independent, Tory officials took part in “extensive talks” with Northern Ireland’s largest unionist political party overnight but that “the deal could come at a high price” after May failed to get a majority in yesterday’s General Election.
It pointed out that DUP, which has a strong evangelical following, has regularly courted controversy in its near 50-year history for its bigotry.
For example, Ian Paisley Jr, above, son of the party’s founder Ian Paisley, has previously called homosexuality “immoral, offensive and obnoxious” and said he was “repulsed” by gays and lesbians.
The party once championed a campaign called “Save Ulster from Sodomy”.
Former DUP Health Minister Jim Wells told a South Down hustings in 2015:
The gay lobby is insatiable, they don’t know when enough is enough.
He also said children who were raised in a homosexual relationship were more likely to be abused or neglected. He later apologised for the comments.
He was forced to resign shortly after.
DUP politician Trevor Clarke last year said he thought only gay people could contract aids and HIV.
The party staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, believing in what they call the “traditional” definition of the union, and has vetoed several attempts to pass new legislation.
In 2008, Iris Robinson, DUP MP and wife of Norrthern Ireland’s First Minister, launched a bitter attack on homosexuality and said government:
Has the responsibility to uphold the laws of God.
Less than two years later her career was in ruins after her extra-marital affair with an 19-year-old and her bid to borrow money for him from property developers was exposed.
Speaking of the pro-marriage equality movement, party leader Arlene Foster, above, said in 2016:
They are not going to influence me by sending me abuse – in fact, they are going to send me in the opposite direction and people need to reflect on that.
I could not care less what people get up to in terms of their sexuality, that’s not a matter for me – when it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage.
The DUP has also long opposed abortion and any attempts to liberalise the law. Foster last year vowed to prevent terminations being made available in Northern Ireland.
I would not want abortion to be as freely available here as it is in England and don’t support the extension of the 1967 act.
The party once appointed climate change denier Sammy Wilson as its Environment Minister. Wilson said it was a “con” to suggest humans had changed weather patterns.
He also said in 2014: “We are already paying through the nose for electricity because we go down the route of the dearest electricity possible through renewable energy” and are “putting our agricultural industry in jeopardy because there is no greater producer of greenhouse gases than cows.”
The party counts a number of creationists among its senior members.
DUP assembly member for West Tyrone, Thomas Buchanan, pictured above with Foster, last year endorsed an event called “Reaching Children in an Evolutionised World”, which was organised to promote the teaching of creationism “in every school”.
The event included presenting “the biblical case for the sound teaching of children” that will “offer helpful practical advice on how to counter evolutionary teaching”.
I’m someone who believes in creationism and that the world was spoken into existence in six days by His power. I commend those behind this event for bringing forward a programme of reaching out to children who have been corrupted by the teaching of evolution.
I long to see the day when every school in Northern Ireland will stand up and teach creationism, and turn away from the peddled lie that is evolution.
DUP politician Edwin Poots has expressed his views that the planet is a “young earth” created just 4,000 years ago. He told the Radio Times.
You’re telling me that cosmic balls of dust gathered and there was an explosion. We’ve had lots of explosions in Northern Ireland and I’ve never seen anything come out of that that was good.
With regard to the UK’s leaving the EU, the party want to avoid a hard border with Ireland and has spoken against a “hard Brexit”.
No-one wants to see a ‘hard’ Brexit, what we want to see is a workable plan to leave the European Union, and that’s what the national vote was about – therefore we need to get on with that. However, we need to do it in a way that respects the specific circumstances of Northern Ireland, and, of course, our shared history and geography with the Republic of Ireland.