Prime Minister David Cameron was put on the spot yesterday regarding his views on forming a coalition government with the notoriously homophobic Democratic Unionist Party. (See below for video)
Speaking at the Radio 1 Newsbeat’s Live Lounge leader debate, Mr Cameron was asked if his self-professed belief in equality was enough to make a promise to rule out joining the DUP in government.
Audience member, Mary Hassan wanted to know why David Cameron has so keenly battled for marriage equality in the rest of the UK but averted his gaze from the hotbed of homophobia which still persists in the Northern Ireland assembly.
Refusing to go into government with the DUP would send out a clear message that their treatment of LGBT people is unacceptable.
Ms Hassan started by reminding the Prime Minister of some of the recent issues involving the DUP that have been highlighted in the media.
“These are elected representatives who have blamed gay people for hurricane Katrina, voted consistently against government bills to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; they’ve called pride repugnant, consistently blocked motions for marriage equality, upheld the ban on gay people donating blood and have now proposed a conscience clause.”
“The DUP is a party that have caused significant and long term damage to the LGBT community in Northern Ireland” She added.
The caller then went on to challenge Mr Cameron to rule out the possibility of a coalition with the DUP in the upcoming election in a show of solidarity with the LGBT community. He responded that his party was aiming for a majority.
Mr Cameron said: “I totally disagree with the DUP about this [LGBT] issue and nothing I ever do will go against the values I have about believing in equality and equal rights for gay and lesbian people and I’ve put that, as it were, on the line by supporting equal marriage.
The Tory leader said he “profoundly disagreed” and “will never validate” the Democratic Unionist Party’s policy on LGBT related issues.
Ms Hassan also posed a more important question to the PM – “Now, I’d like to know – is staying in office more important than the LGBT community in Northern Ireland?”
The prime minister seems content to have introduced marriage equality in England, Scotland and Wales and refuses to acknowledge that the LGBT community in Northern Ireland are faced with proposals that could see discrimination legalised.
Cameron vow on DUP gay rights stanceDavid Cameron has said he “profoundly disagrees” with the DUP’s stance on LGBT issues. He made his remarks during Radio 1 Newsbeat’s Live Lounge leader debate. He was questioned by Mary Hassan from County Londonderry. Mr Cameron said he believed in gay rights and was proud of equal marriage. The DUP, which opposes gay marriage, said the party had already ruled out being part of a coalition government. A DUP spokesman told the BBC the party was not seeking cabinet positions. Watch Mary interrogate David Cameron in this video…
Posted by BBC Newsline on Thursday, 23 April 2015