The DUP’s Paul Givan claimed on the Nolan Show last week that the DUP aren’t against gay people. Let’s take a look back at all the times the DUP has stood up for the rights of LGBT people in Northern Ireland.
1977 – MP Rev Ian Paisley launches the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign in an effort to retain the ban on homosexuality in Northern Ireland.
1982 – DUP submits a response to the NI Office in respect of the proposed decriminalisation of homosexuality, claiming that The effect of the law as a restraint on bestiality, incest and rape will be further reduced.” and goes on to say the change will lead to “inevitable demands for a further lowering”, giving “impetus to the paedophile movement which is rampant within the homosexual movement today”.
22nd June 1998 – DUP MPs vote against the Government to lower the age of consent for gay sex from 18 to 16.
10th Feb 2000 – DUP MPs vote again to reject the Sexual Offences Bill to lower the age of consent for gay sex.
24th Oct 2001 – DUP MPs vote against a motion to bring forward a gender neutral Civil Registration Bill.
4th Nov 2002 – DUP MPs vote against an amendment to the Adoption & Children Bill to allow unmarried straight and gay couples to adopt children.
23rd Feb 2004 – DUP MPs vote against the second reading of the Gender Recognition Bill.
25th May 2004 – DUP MPs vote against the third reading of the Gender Recognition Bill.
12th Oct 2004 – DUP MPs vote against the second reading of the Civil Partnerships Bill
9th Nov 2004 – DUP MPs vote in favour of a wrecking motion to enable siblings to become Civil Partners under proposed legislation. They later vote against the third reading of the Civil Partnerships Bill.
18th Nov 2005 – Ballymena DUP Cllr Maurice Mills claims that gay people are to blame for Hurricane Katrina.
9th Jan 2007 – DUP’s Lord Morrow proposes a motion to defeat the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland).
21st March 2007 – DUP MPs vote against a Government Bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
21st Jan 2008 – DUP Peers vote to prevent a clause demanding the need for a ‘father’ from being removed in the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Bill. If this clause had remained then lesbian couples would have been unable to access IVF treatment.
20th Feb 2008 – DUP Culture Minister Edwin Poots MLA calls the establishment of a gay rugby team in Belfast a form of ‘apartheid’.
20th May 2008 – DUP MPs vote against Government proposals to allow single mothers and lesbian couples access to IVF treatment – twice.
June 2008 – DUP MP & MLA Iris Robinson claims that homosexuality can be ‘cured’.
21st July 2008 – DUP MP & MLA Iris Robinson claims that homosexuality is ‘viler’ than child abuse in a speech to Parliament.
26th July 2011 – DUP MLA Jim Wells calls Belfast Pride ‘repugnant’.
2nd August 2012 – Lord Mayor of Belfast, the DUP Cllr Gavin Robinson, stands by his party’s opposition to gay rights at a panel debate during the Belfast Pride festival.
25th August 2012 – Magherafelt District DUP Cllr Paul McClean calls for homosexuality to be made illegal in Northern Ireland.
1st October 2012 – DUP MLAs block a motion brought forward to facilitate marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
25th October 2013 – DUP MLA Tom Buchanan tells school children attending a public event that homosexuality is an ‘abomination’.
October 2012 – DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA lodges an appeal against the NI High Court Ruling overturning the ban on gay couples being allowed to adopt.
5th Feb 2013 – DUP MPs vote against the second reading of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill and all technical motions to facilitate the passing of the Bill.
29th April 2013 – DUP MLAs block a second motion brought forward to facilitate marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
2st May 2013 – DUP MPs vote against the third reading of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.
11th Oct 2013 – Despite an NI High Court ruling, DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA refuses to lift the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.
13th Nov 2013 – DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA claims in the NI Assembly that the ‘natural order’ is for a child to be raised by a mother and father.
5th March 2014 (Busy day for the DUP) – DUP MPs vote against Government proposals to allow same-sex marriages to be annulled or for same-sex spouses to divorce. They also vote against plans to allow consenting places of worship being able to register and de-register their property as venues in which to conduct same-sex weddings. On the same day they vote against plans to allow the registration of Armed Forces chapels as venues in which to conduct same-sex weddings. That same day they vote against plans to allow same-sex weddings for British citizens to be conducted in UK Consulates in foreign nations, to allow same-sex marriages from England and Wales be recognised as Civil Partnerships in Scotland and against the right of UK Armed Forces personnel entering into a same-sex marriage whilst serving overseas. On a bit of a roll that day, weren’t they?
29th April 2014 – DUP MLAs block a third motion brought forward to facilitate marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
8th December 2014 – DUP MLA Paul Givan publishes a Bill (nicknamed the Conscience Clause) designed to allow religious people an opt out from equality legislation when providing goods and services to gay couples.
21st Jan 2015 – Health Minister Jim Wells MLA of the DUP announces that he will maintain the present ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
23rd April 2015 – During a hustings event in South Down, DUP Health Minister Jim Wells claimed “You don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That the child is far more likely to be abused and neglected.” (This later led to his resignation as Health Minister 3 days later.)
27th April 2015 – The DUP use a Petition of Concern to block a motion calling for equal marriage in the NI Assembly.
28th April 2015 – DUP Cllr Paul McLean called for homosexuality to be made illegal.
30th April 2015 – DUP Leader and First Minister of NI claims that Cllr McLean is ‘entitled to his views’ and that if homosexuality was illegal he hopes people ‘would obey that law’.
30th April 2015 – MLA and Westminster candidate Jonathan Bell sets out his opposition to same-sex marriage and to 3-person marriage which he dubs ‘Thruples’ during a hustings debate in South Belfast.
2nd November 2015 – The NI Assembly debates equal marriage for a fifth time and the measure passes by 1 vote however the DUP again use the Petition of Concern to block it.
27th October 2016 – DUP Leader Arlene Foster says her party will continue blocking equal marriage for the next five years with the Petition of Concern.
29th November 2016 – DUP MLA Trevor Clarke claims he didn’t know straight people could contract HIV during an Assembly debate.
April 21st 2017 – DUP MLA Jim Wells claims that the party will split if the leadership agrees to allowing same sex marriage during NI Executive formation talks.