Theresa May’s Government has signed a deal with the anti-LGBT Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The Conservatives failed to achieve an overall majority in the recent General Election, securing 318 seats. A party needs 326 seats in order to have a majority in the UK. A deal with the DUP could ensure an extra 10 votes.
The Conservatives have said it will find an extra £1.5 billion in funding for Northern Ireland as part of the agreement.
Speaking about the partnership, the DUP’s leader, Arlene Foster said she was, “delighted that we have reached this agreement, which I think works, obviously, for national stability.”
The DUP has a long history as an anti-gay party. Its founder, the Rev Ian Paisley spearheaded the Save Ulster from Sodomy in the 1970s, which was opposed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland, in fact, Northern Ireland was the last country within the UK to decriminalise homosexuality, which it did so in 1982. Paisley’s son, Ian Paisley Jr said that he was “repulsed” by homosexuality.
More recently the struggle to achieve marriage equality was stalled for the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland. The same-sex marriage bill has been voted upon four times in Northern Ireland. Each time equality for NI’s LGBT community has been frustrated by the DUP. It is the only part of the UK which does not provide same-sex marriage to its citizens.
Taking to Twitter, the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn said that the deal was not done in the national interest, but in the interest of the PM and the Conservatives own “political survival”.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 26, 2017