Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The cost of the DUP's institutionalised homophobia

Most of the UK is aware of the austerity measures that are being imposed on them due to the financial issues we have faced since 2008. Cuts have been made to excessive and unnecessary spending in a whole manner of issues. Tough decisions have been made about what front line services are to be kept and front line services like education and health are afforded protection.

However, in Northern Ireland the Minister for Health has been using his limited, if protected budget, on the institutionalised homophobia. I am not mincing my words on this as I have called the way that the DUP have gone about preventing the LGBT population of Northern Ireland having the same rights as their peers in the rest of the UK is just that.

Earlier this week we heard that after the High Court in Belfast has found that excluding some would-be parents solely on their relationship status narrowed the pool of potential adopters and could not be in the best interests of children. Edwin Poots however was not happy after all the legal fees he had spent on fighting this, which came out of the Health Department's budget, and will be spending even more on Lawyers as he takes the matter of same sex couples adopting in Northern Ireland to the Supreme Court of the UK.

There is a certain irony here as the Health Minister had called for an all Island approach to adoption, and is taking it to the Supreme Court of the jurisdiction where there already is just what the High Court in Belfast have said. In all likelihood the Supreme Court will uphold the right of UK citizens to have the same rights as all the others, so will that mean more money being thrown after the £40,000 he has spent on this already.

Then yesterday the Belfast Telegraph reported that combined with the legal advise to prevent the lifting of the lifetime ban on men who have had sex with other men his total legal costs so far are £100,000.

The below are the answers received last week, costs are exclusive of VAT.

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