Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Theresa May the DUP heroine of the Century

So with Theresa May pledging to scrap the Human Rights Act and pull Europe out of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) she has suddenly become the DUP's pin up girl (whether in kitten heels or bejeweled loafers). Why?

Well the DUP know that they can only go so long in using petitions of concern to block any further LGBT equality in Northern Ireland. Before too long somebody is going to take a case before the ECHR to be allowed to give blood, or to be able to adopt along with their partner of the same sex or heaven forbid get married, or have their same-sex marriage in the rest of the UK recognised. The pulling out of this across the UK would come as the DUPs salvation, Northern Ireland would be kept in the dark ages and the LGBT community here would end up going elsewhere like they did in the 60s and 70s to seek equality.

The reason I am saying this is that it was only through the ECHR that homosexuality was legalised in Northern Ireland in the Dudgeon v UK case. Civil Partnerships only came to Northern Ireland as the devolved powers were suspended at the time and we were back under direct rule. every other measure since has been blocked by the DUP. Take the UK out of the ECHR and the final level of appeal for Northern Ireland is the Supreme Court who are unlikely to want to dabble in the devolved powers under which equality legislation is determined.

Therefore Theresa may well as well put LGBT rights into suspended animation as far as Northern Ireland is concerned, if the Tories return with a majority in 2015. It is unlikely that a Tory drafted replacement to a Human Rights act will allow for any challenge that may embarrass the DUP in the long term, just in case they ever need to rely on the votes of Northern Ireland's largest party in the future.

So this is definitely one step up with which I shall not put.

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