Saturday, 26 April 2014

Time for DUP to stand the stand

This is the line that the DUP are using in their party election broadcast and posters for the European Elections:

Now while it may be simple for the DUP to brand the brand, it is so simple for them to stand the stand.

There is talk in their Party Election Broadcast of how effective Diane Dodds has been in securing EU funding for Northern Ireland. It lists certain areas. I wonder how active Mrs Dodds has been in helping secure Northern Ireland's share of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) funding for NGOs working against all types of discrimination and the rights of LGBT people.

You may not be surprised to learn that nowhere in here voting record as an MEP or as an MLA has Mrs Dodds voted in favour of any LGBT equality measure.

So how are the DUP standing up for Northern Ireland when it comes to LGBT Northern Irish people. The truth of course is while they go on and on about supporting a British culture here in Northern Ireland and are prepared to stand up to defend the people of Northern Ireland's right to be British that ends where it coincides with LGBT Britain. The have taken court action to prevent same-sex couples adopting, they are doing the same about the lifetime ban on men who have had sex with men donating blood. The continually use a petition of concern to act as a potential veto against any majority that might be achieved on the issue of marriage equality. Their MPs actually spoke out in favour and voted in Westminster to ensure that Same-Sex Marriages carried out in England and Wales would not be recognised as marriages in Northern Ireland but only as Civil Partnerships.

However, I want to see if they will truly stand up for Northern Ireland and that is all of us. There is a third motion on Tuesday on the issue of Equal Marriage. I would like to see them really stand up for Northern Ireland and everyone being equally British is voting for this motion. If they can't or won't do that I would like them to not use the petition of concern, let the representatives of the people of Northern Ireland have their vote and see what the democratic result will be. the constant threat of the petition of concern has led to a few MLAs not wanting to vote in favour. Bizarrely a mechanism put in to protect both sides of the sectarian divide from abuse by the other side is being used to oppress other minorities who do not have the same right to being represented by those within their grouping and those outside of it.

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