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The Northern Ireland parties: LGBT Manifestos

2015-04-20
Across the past week, the five parties of Northern Ireland have been unveiling their manifestos for the upcoming General Election. Attitude has looked at these documents and highlighted policies specific to the LGBT communities. Northern Ireland has 18 constituencies, and its parties could likely be involved in coalition agreements. DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) 4146214865 The DUP manifesto features no policies relating to the LGBT community. They have traditionally opposed all issues of LGBT equality at Westminster, and in power at Stormont. The DUP have 8 MPs at Westminster, and are the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland, with leader Peter Robinson holding the office of First Minister. They have indicated they would join a coalition with either the Conservatives or Labour. You can read their full manifesto here.   Sinn Fein SF Sinn Fein will prioritise:
  • Tackling sectarianism, homophobia and racism and delivering equal rights for all.
  • Ensuring the law treats all children equally regardless of family status or the sexual orientation or gender identity go their parents.
  • Developing legislation to address online bullying and harassment in all forms including sectarianism, transphobia, homophobia and racism.
  • Opposing the Conscience Clause, recognising it for what it is, an attempt to erode human rights and reduce the effectiveness of equality legislation.
  • Championing the cause of transgender people to ensure that they have equal access to goods, facilities and services.
  • Supporting the right of the lesbian, gay and bisexual people to marriage equality.
  • Including equality protections for LGBT citizens and prohibitions on homophobic and transphobic discrimination in the forthcoming Bill of Rights for the north.
  • Pushing for legislation north and south for equal treatment of prospective LGBT parents in reproductive and adoptive services, and in related social and other public services.
  Sinn Fein have 5 MPs at Westminster, but do not take their seats. They are the largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland. You can read their full manifesto here.   SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 3957066551 The SDLP is committed to defending and campaigning for equality and human rights across all sectors, regardless of: sexual orientation, religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, class, marital status, sex, disability and between persons with dependents and persons without. A genuinely shared future will champion the rights of everyone in our society. The SDLP are a nationalist party who have 3 MPs at Westminster, and are traditional partners of the British Labour Party. You can read their full manifesto here.   Alliance 329 The LGBT Community Alliance has long supported the improvement of rights afforded to the LGBT community, who often face discrimination on a wide range of issues. Our priorities for improving the rights of LGBT people include: • The extension of civil marriage provisions to same sex couples, provided that robust protections are provided through legislation to protect faith groups and religious celebrants who do not wish to marry same-sex couples. • Opposing the proposed ‘Conscience Clause’ which is poorly defined and is a charter for discrimination. • Lifting the bans on gay and unmarried couples adopting and the lifetime ban on gay men giving blood, bringing these in line with the rest of the UK. • Producing guidance for schools on tackling homophobic bullying. • Asking every service to audit how their services are provided to LGBT people to ensure no accidental bias is included in the public services • Ensure equal access to health services for the LGBT community, including lifting the unreasonable and unlawful lifetime ban on gay men giving blood. • Promote LGBT rights across the world. Alliance is a cross community party currently with 1 MP at Westminster. They are partners of the Liberal Democrats in Britain. You can read their full manifesto here.    UUP (Ulster Unionist Party) UUP-Manifesto-01-460x297 RESPECTING ALL CULTURES, FAITHS AND SEXUALITIES Northern Ireland’s unique mix of fascinating heritage and its rich culture makes it a fascinating place to live and work. The Ulster Unionist Party is committed to building a society that welcomes diversity. We will: • Ensure young people leave education with a better understanding of sexual and cultural diversity through age appropriate teaching. The UUP are a unionist party who currently have no MPs at Wesminster and are partners of the Conservative Party. You can read their full manifesto here.    Read more of Attitude's election coverage in the new issue out now on digital and in print.