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DUP asked Scottish Government to stop marrying gay couples from Northern Ireland, claims former minister

2017-06-12
The DUP reportedly asked the Scottish Government to restrict performing same-sex marriages for couples from Northern Ireland. Marco Biagi, former minister in the SNP government in Holyrood, alleges that the DUP-controlled Stormont Executive sent an official letter to the Scottish Government asking them to stop allowing same-sex couples from Northern Ireland from getting married in Scotland. Biagi confirmed that the Scottish government refused the request. Prime Minister Theresa May failed to get an overall majority in this week's General Election, and she's now in the midst of securing a deal with the DUP to secure a majority to govern with. The DUP, which is currently lead by former First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster, has a long and well-documented history of opposing LGBT equality. Founded in the early 1970s by evangelical Protestant minister and loyalist Ian Paisley, in 1977 it launched the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign, which sought to prevent the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland. In recent years the party has consistently blocked the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, which remains the only region in the UK where gay people are denied the right to marry. In November 2015, a historic breakthrough appeared to have been reached when a majority of the Northern Ireland Assembly voted to legalise marriage equality, only for the DUP to effectively veto the measure under the terms of Stormont’s power-sharing agreement. Meanwhile, many DUP politicians have been personally condemned for making homophobic remarks. In 2015, Northern Ireland's DUP Health Minister Jim Wells was forced to resign after suggesting that gay parents are more likely to abuse their children. In 2007, Paisley’s son and North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr. said of homosexuality: "I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong. "I think that those people harm themselves and – without caring about it – harm society. That doesn’t mean to say that I hate them. I mean, I hate what they do." More stories: Geri Horner announces George Michael tribute single ‘Angels in Chains’ Gun control legislation is still being blocked in Florida despite Orlando shooting