The DUP and gay marriage: a match made in hell?

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Picture by Scott Spiegel

How things change. A lot of us remember the clear-cut days when Ian Paisley stalked the land warning of the dangers of Eire, where they were priest-ridden, superstitious and probably still eating with their fingers on bare-earth floors. After yesterday and the success of the Yes side in the south’s gay marriage campaign, it’s our twisted little north-eastern state that is looking like the backward one. The DUP may protest that they are standing up for the traditional view of marriage, but the fact is that the rest of the UK and the rest of Ireland simply don’t agree. They see gay marriage as a right, and the DUP’s opposition as a product of their rigid thinking.

But the attitude to gay marriage fits into a wider DUP picture. The Good Friday Agreement had a clause concerning the establishment of a bill of rights here. Have we got it? Does your granny play for Arsenal? It’d be comic if it weren’t so serious. The same DUP which is so opposed to gay marriage legislation is vocal in its defence of the rights of the Ashers cake people, picturing them as a persecuted minority whose rights are being trampled by the recent judgement against them.

Me, I see rights, promised by the Good Friday Agreement, as an everyday, less well-publicised affair. Have I the right to don a Glasgow Celtic (or even Cliftonville) jersey and take a stroll through East Belfast or Carrickfergus or Larne? I have the right but I’d better not try exercising it. Have I the right to talk in Irish as I amble through Sandy Row? Of course I have. But I may be well advised to suspend the exercise of that right.

Whatever your views on gay marriage, it is undeniable that the DUP, who with so much vigour insist on their right to be British, are going to look less like brave defenders of morality and more like the Backward Party. Its protestions of Britishness are going to increasingly embarrass the rest of the UK.  “Unfair”  you think; but unfair or not it’s how things are. The DUP’s anxiety to insert a conscience clause that would allow Asher’s Bakery to sell only those cakes with whose icing decoration they approve show what they’re really like: a party that wants to block change at every turn, fears the future and will make itself the laughing-stock of the rest of the UK and Ireland.

“Here I stand, I can no other.”  Was that Martin Luther speaking –  or King Canute?


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30 Responses to The DUP and gay marriage: a match made in hell?

  1. paddykool May 25, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    That was King Canute , Jude…glug….glug….glug…hic!

    • Am Ghobsmacht May 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

      A wise man informed me recently that Luther suffered from haemorrhoids, it sort of paints the quote in a rather more comic light…

      • Jude Collins May 26, 2015 at 7:42 am #

        Hahhhaaaa – I’d never thought of it like that, AG. Brilliant…

  2. Freddy Mallins May 25, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    I agree, Jude. Like the forlorn Japanese soldier blinking in the sunshine as he was informed the war was over, so too the DUP will languish behind the rest of modern Europe in terms of their world view. They now stand before us in bewilderment. The pace of change has confounded them. One would almost pity them if it wasn’t for their singular arrogance.

  3. John May 25, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    Tedious crap, as per usual

    • Jude Collins May 25, 2015 at 10:04 am #

      I agree, John – but what are you and I against so many?

  4. Brian Patterson May 25, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    While I agree with 99 per cent of this article I am not sure that the people of the Shankhill are that hostile to Irish. A few years ago a programme examining where Irish could be used and understood. They interviewed some people on either the Shankill or Sandy Row, I can’t remember which. The interviewees, were in no way hosrtile to Irish.One,an elderly working class man, even expressed regret that it was not more widely spoken. Likewise when Aer Lingus opened its Aldergrove service the Equality Commission was in a blue funk lest the airline should ‘offend’ Protestant passenger by using the traditional welcome on board. as Gaeilge. The much missed and irreplaceable David Dunseith despatched a Talkback team to Aldergrove to ask passengers of a Unionist persuasion if the greeting would offend. To a man and woman they laughed at the idea. Nonetheless the Commissoon (which exists to promote equality, diversity and respect for all cultures, inveigled Aer Lingus to omit the greeting thus relegating Irish speakers to the back of the linguistic bus.
    The people of East Belfast via the East Belfast mission are re-discovering the language just as the Shankill recently discovered how the famine had affected their community. Long may this voyage of discovery continue.

    • Am Ghobsmacht May 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

      Was that the program where the lad was going around Ireland trying to speak only in Irish?

  5. fiosrach May 25, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    The energetic, all inclusive and successful campaign in the Saorstat to prove how progressive they are and how the Saorstat is now a ‘pulsar’ to guide the more backward parts of the world and how we(they) are so proud to be Irish on this great day etc.etc makes me very sad. When this force could have been harnessed to re-establish our own language and culture or eradicate poverty from the face of Ireland or wipe out sectarianism, it was mobilised to establish a pretend marriage. Who cares? Let the 2% do what they like. The skies won’t fall in. They may leak a bit at the edges but life will go on.

  6. Perkin Warbeck May 25, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Was King Canute a native of Sandy Row?

    This thought struck one, Esteemed Blogmeister, while eye-trotting through your consciousness-raised blog this morning. Not least when you refer to exercising your right to speak Irish even as you might or might not amble through Sandy Row.

    Two choices of word caught this citizen of the Free Southern Stateen’s attench: Irish and amble.

    Down here the word ‘Irish’ as a synonym for leprechaun is never used on its own in polite public discourse. That is, without being chaperoned by its, erm, civil partner, as it were. That would be the camp word, Compulsory. Hence, ‘Compulsory Irish’.

    Otherwise, the word du jour is: Gaelic.

    The use of the G-word in this context always makes Perkie’s inner snotty-nosed gurrier rather nostalgic. For, during his childhood in the Fabulous Fiffties (or at least that part of his childhood which spans six decades and which specifically pertains to the FF) the only cohorts of that hermetically-sealed society of a wintry Hibernia who actually used the G-word were: English immigrants and native, Irish-born Protestants.

    Prescient cohorts, as it turns out, who were ahead of their times, though not, of course, The Unionist Times.

    As for amble, or even ramble.

    Try ambling, Esteemed Blogmeister, through the Modus Operandi Row of Dublin, aka, Kildare Street where that beacon of TAD TD’s is located, Dail Eireann. TAD being the acronym of Tolerance and Decency, which modesty prevents the same TD’s from telling us thus in this cosy Cahilliphate of our’s.

    And if you should choose to be talking the Gaelic it might be advisable to up a gear of three to the panting mode a la the Pink Panther. For he who dares Kildare Street, is not always guaranteed to w-i-n.

    Of course, it is a well known factoid that there is more Polish than Gaelic spoken on the streets of Lublin,oops, Dublin. The subliminal message being: TADpoles ok, Frog-croakers of Bog Gaelic, not. It is a factoid we are immensely proud of, as our new polished immigrants have helped us turn Dublin into Craic-o Central.

    This mandatory upping of tempo in the empathy centre of excellence that is Eireland would also apply to the rural as well as the urban zone. As you would soon find them to be zones of discomfort (extreme) in your Gaelic-speaking rambles.

    In a wonderful week South of the Black Sow’s Dyke when tolerance, compassion, generosity, empathy and love itself emerged,bliinking into the sunlight of e for equality from the closet/ cofra of nameless shame one other factoid reared its glorious noggin where it had gone, erm, boggin’..

    That of the 31 local authorities, be they city or county, all of two (twa in Ulster Scots) had complied with the legal imperative to supply a service to the toxic tax-paying citizenry in the two (twa) official languages of the FSS.

    (Perkie’s inner Vivisectionist 31’s passionate plea is: the sooner the First Official Lingo is cut from the Constitution/ Bunreacht and/or rendered provisiona by another efferendum the b., This would be but another knock-on effect on the already rocking Bunreacht) .

    One aspect of FSS life,however, which is fully compliant with the slings and arrows of linguistic duality is Newstalk. Everyday it provides a 31 second segment in leprechaun entitled ‘Gaeilge Ghasta’ which is Compulsory Irish for ‘Fast Gaelic’ or in the Spanish of Speedy Gonzalez: rapido.

    So, Esteemed Blogmeister, In the Pink-light District that is the Rural Airy-Fairyland of Eire it might not be entirely inadvisable to put your Gaelic mettle to the pedal. Your menu of choices in a generous stateen would be wide: from bolting like Usain, to meep-meeping like the Road Runner or sprinting like Tyson Gay him or herself.

    To conclude/ chun crioch a chur leis an alt alt seo: a popular song in the Fabulous Fifties, of the nifty Honda 50s, a song our fathers loved on the Walton Show, which brought to our Eire-ears the grace and beauty of our Irish heritage, was a song called simply: Kate Muldoon.

    Perkie’s inner Eurovision songster is happy to announce that he will be releasing a span-new, bang up to date version of that ballad of his salad days:

    ‘I love to ramble down the old boreen
    When the hawthorn blossoms are in bloom
    And to sit by the gate on the auld mossy sate
    A whispering to Me Mate Muldoon’.

    Its release will be timed to coincide with the release of Petra Sutcliffe from Broadmoor Maximum Security prison, where she has undergone more than just a change of, erm, heart.

    This twin release of Perkie and Petra to be devoutly relished, from Yorkshire all to the way to Corkshire, boy,

    Not merely free-all-all but Gay as well !

    • Perkin Warbeck May 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      PS A lot of parallels, comparisons and homologues have been drawn between the Rainbow Celebrations in the courtyard of Dublin Castle post-Roman Catholics the day before Yes-terday and the carnival atmosphere which suffused Dublin City during Italia 90.

      Too true, too true.

      Perkie can verify those parallels. For he found himself caught up in the Fervid Failte Abhaile which greeted our Returning Heroes home from post-Romania Rome.

      At the best of times he or rather his chauffeurs Amos and Andy (one cannot recall exactly which one of his liveried drivers was rostered for duty that never-to-be-forgotten evening) found it difficult to negotiate the narrow but big-hearted streets of Dublin.

      But on this specific evening there was just no way to navigate the stretch limo (a Lincoln L) through the Ole Ole Ole of the heaving hordes of sweating humanity which thronged the designated area of Dublin’s f. city in front of Trinity College..

      Thus, after the limo had been duly dumped in, erm, Lincoln Place, a pedestrian Perkie found himself squashed like a native of Sardinia as he joyously joined in every raucous chorus from ‘The Squeals of Athenry’ to ‘You’ll never beat the Irish’.

      (The latter was actually technically correct, despite the homeric team having been shellacked by the Sicilian Salvatore Schillaci. As Ireland was essentially like the past to the Irish team: a foreign country).

      The only song which was not sung (as this is where the similarity to the day before Yes-terday is stressed) was ‘Toto Tuus’.

      The platform upon which the Welcome Home / Failte Abhaile committee was positioned was the same identical spot in the forecourt of The Bank of Ireland as where Barrack O’Bama was later to remind his Irish audience: ‘Is feidir linn, stupid’.

      On this memorable occasion, the Go-between the Team which had just taken its place on the platform and the adoring Green Army on the ground was the then Lord Mayor: one, Sean Haughey.

      And as he opened his mouth to expel his first Dublin-accented sentences his local verbals where immediately drowned out by a,erm,barracking from the Green Army. on the ground.

      ‘We want Jack ! We want Jack ! We want Jack !’

      Sean, the local Jackeen, had no option but to hand over the microphone to the Ciceronian orator from Northumberland, lad.

      That the Bank of Ireland occupies the same building which once housed Grattan’s satin-accented Parliament was not entirely unapt. For that historic evening was a spontaneous re-enactment by the professional losers among the Better Togethers of the Act of Union.

      The Rainbow revelers were up to Ninety
      Reminding one and all of us of Italia ’90
      The first won F-all
      The second Ref-all
      Charlton ‘n charlatans with fingers so pointy.

  7. Martin Cushnan May 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    I don’t think it is right to rubbish the DUP’s statement that they are ‘standing up for the traditional view of marriage’, or that ‘the rest of Ireland simply don’t agree.’ The Catholic Church is struggling to uphold the traditional view of marriage, while at the same time acknowledging the rights of homosexuals. With regard to the ‘rest of Ireland’, 32 percent of the people in the South agree with the DUP.
    We are going through a difficult time at present sorting out religious beliefs and practices. Flag-waving doesn’t help.

    • Jude Collins May 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

      I think you’ll find I haven’t ‘rubbished’ the DUP’s ‘standing up for the traditional view of marriage’ – I pointed out that they were out of step with the rest of Ireland and the UK. Yes, 32% voted No, but I still think it’s reasonable to say that the south of Ireland is resoundingly in favour of gay marriage.

  8. Francis May 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    A victory for Equality, north or south Ireland, us not flag waving, and to “flag” it as such, unhelpful. The DUP, despite the initial part of their Acronym, are not Democrats. They view, choose to view, and promote the view, that concessions to minority groups, are an example of further erosion of their traditional supremacy. Fiddlesticks to this fabricated insecurity as Dickens might urge one of his characters to pronounce on such absurdity. Poor, poor misunderstood Unionism and how misunderstood their intolerance is….Fiddlesticks, as a more contemporary term, though more appropriate, might raise their heckles in Righteous, oh so very Righteous indignation.

  9. Norma wilson May 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    I cannot and will not accept that certain people want to be classed the same as me.
    To simplify the problem is easy.
    Take three islands. First island stick 1000 lesbians on it. Second island stick a load of homosexuals on it.
    Third island put 10 newly wed couples man and woman. Don’t make contact for fifty years, you get the picture. They can’t be the same. God made a woman for a man. There is nothing more beautiful than making love with your heterosexual partner. You can create babies, God gave us the seed.
    I am not anti gay. Just bloody sick to the back of my teeth listening about them.

    • Jude Collins May 25, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

      Yes, but how do you REALLY feel about it, Norma???

    • Ruaidri Ua Conchobai May 26, 2015 at 10:58 am #

      Of course, you aren’t “anti Gay”… perish the thought.
      When I grew-up, I ceased to believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and sky Gods. But, as a Republican commited to equality of citizenship, I will defend your right to continue to hold and profess your belief in such things. Similarly, though two men (not women) kissing and hugging makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable, I will stand beside LGBT citizens to defend their entitlement to equal citizenship rights.
      No-one is preventing you from holding and practising your religious beliefs in your church, your home or indeed promoting those beliefs in a public forum; you are not being denied anything. Furthermore, being challenged for actively promoting intolerant views toward ‘others’ does not constitute persecution – the ‘right’ to express opinions flows both ways.
      You like me just have to appreciate that gay citizens aren’t asking us to kiss them, have sex with them, love them or marry them.
      Holding a religous or any other belief is a matter of choice, whereas being Gay is a state of being… live and let live!!!

  10. RJC May 25, 2015 at 3:39 pm #


  11. James May 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    As a republican of some 50 years standing, I voted No in the referendum. I have a total aversion to inequality of any kind, During the campaign the question of equality was raised by the Yes side on numerous occasions, so on the issue of equality will someone please tell me why I should have voted Yes? Surely the Civil Partnership legislation provides total equality before the law for both those who are Married and those in a Civil Partnership. Is there a difference in the wording of the law? I should hope not, but if there is, will someone please enlighten me? Has all the fuss of the past couple of weeks boiled down to the need for a same-sex couple to be able to say they are ‘Married’ and so become equal with an opposite-sex couple. Surely not !!!

    • Chunks May 26, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      “Surely the Civil Partnership legislation provides total equality before the law for both those who are Married and those in a Civil Partnership. Is there a difference in the wording of the law? I should hope not, but if there is, will someone please enlighten me”?

      As a man against inequality, I’m afraid you’ve voted the wrong way. These are but some of the over 160 difference between civil partnership and marriage in Ireland.

      Civil Partnership:

      does not permit children to have a legally recognised relationship with their parents – only the biological one. This causes all sorts of practical problems for hundreds of families with schools and hospitals as well as around guardianship, access and custody. In the worst case, it could mean that a child is taken away from a parent and put into care on the death of the biological parent.

      does not recognise same sex couples’ rights to many social supports that may be needed in hardship situations and may literally leave a loved one out in the cold.

      defines the home of civil partners as a “shared home”, rather than a “family home” , as is the case for married couples. This has implications for the protection of dependent children living in this home and also means a lack of protection for civil partners who are deserted.

      You can read more here

  12. Norma wilson May 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    This is how I feel … I have spent the last 61 years next month, brought up in a Christian home. I was taught the Bible, I believe in the Bible. I am not going to drop my beliefs to accommodate someone else.
    Those of you who don’t believe in God, you have my sincerest sympathy, for you will one day go before him to answer for your sins.
    I am not afraid to stand up and state and express my views.
    The end of the world must surely be near.

    • Chunks May 26, 2015 at 11:10 am #

      “I believe in the Bible. I am not going to drop my beliefs to accommodate someone else”.


      Fair play to you for living by the Bible and its stipulations. Can’t be easy not eating pork, wearing jewelry or synthetic clothes.

      I’ve always thought the Isrealites’ treatment of the Midianites in Number 31:7-8 could teach us a thing or two. Certainly the lesson doesn’t seem lost on the holy warriors of ISIS.

      Love the book of Ruth myself. Ruth and Naomi deserved their happiness.

    • Francis May 26, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

      Which Bible Norma? Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and all the many books which make up the new and old covenants. Is it 106 books in all? Many of the Christian denominations pick and choose between the various individual books. Many books are common have a wide consensus in Christian faith, like Mathew, Mark, Luke and John’s abridged testaments,-Luke original said the Jews would always pay in blood for the murder of zjesus….but then, he needed betrayal and Execution to enable the Resurrection to blow away the wrath of the God of the old Testament, which itself has many books which are common to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Which book hmmmm Norma,-decisions, decisions……some books are in the Bible if one group one year, then discarded(occasionally for political, and not theological reasons) another year….the years they are out of fashion, they are what? Heresy? The Devils Mischief? Or just the same oul dusty scrolls, with the same oul Patriarchal dominating, Sexist, homophobic ramblings of some power made sexually frustrated oul boys, semi projecting their Sexual fantasies in inflected structures telling everyone else what God told them to write….problems Mc Problems indeed. Whose telling the truth Norma. Your uber disparaging remarks pronouncingyour sympathy to the non believers, and sinners. Did you throw any righteous Stones in the Belfast or Derry Riots Norma? To you in your purity, along with all the other Righteous Puritans with their fixed certainties in some sort of cohesive Compendium called the “Bible”, take note that each book apart, perhaps from letters to the Romans by Paul, are shown, at least strongly suggested by forensic linguists, to have had multiple Authors…..who to trust…..cantankerous oul hypocrites, or your instincts on which book is the Devils’ waylaying the flock, or a true organ/hunan vessel from divinity……….Reserve your most kindly of condescending Pities for the lost, most of Ireland, Partition aside, are on the side of the heretical liberals……I won’t say I “Pity” you Norma, tut tut for such patronizing sentiments, but the Catholic Church mostly, to their credit in the matter, lean more towards tge forgiving books of the new Testament……you alas Norma, in your acrid certitudes in Judgmental decrees from the Old Testament are closer to ISIS, Really!…..Check out which translated books from the Ancient Anaemic, in the King James Compendium of disparate authors, translators, and Charlatans you ascribe to………then tell me of your righteous judgmentalism, and its place in curtailing Rights in the 21st Century among enlightened Liberals,-I am Dying to hear your rationale for why you ab unclean woman would have to wear a Hat to cover your Shame, while I footloose and fancy free can let the Wind from the skies blow through my hair? Before you ask, I’ve attended both Free P, and Brethren Services in my adventures, and all the unclean wore hats…Tut Nc Tut Norma, and there was me thinking you were a Feminist!

  13. Norma wilson May 25, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    Well there is one good thing to come out of it. I agree with the Pope and the Catholic Church.
    My auld granny God rest her soul, born in 1896. Came through two world wars and seen Ireland divide.
    I wonder what she would have thought about this equality for gays.
    This is two quotes she often said.
    “Ireland was the land of the Saints and scholars”, the second was, ” to hell with poverty God bless the Pope”.

  14. Theresa Watson May 25, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

    At last the DUP, Muslims and the Pope have something in common. What strange bedfellows.

  15. Freddy Mallins May 26, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    Well, I’m no fan of the Catholic hierarchy, but didn’t Pope Francis say that he would not judge a gay person. I believe by saying that, he freed a lot of people ( Priests included ) from a feeling of insecurity and isolation. It was a small but seismic gesture.

  16. Norma wilson May 26, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    Theresa Watson

    You can throw as many insults out as you wish. You are on a loosing ticket. I stand with my creator. These are his rules and I obey them.
    I actually feel sorry for you. I will include you in my prayers. You are blinded by your stupidity. For that is all it is. It is an unnatural act an abomination. You can paint it in as many pretty colors as you choose, you can even give it a nice name. It’s wrong wrong wrong. There can be no accepting it the same as heterosexuals. It’s not.

  17. Norma wilson May 26, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    Oh and before I forget.. People have no morals today no standards no principles. Sinn Fein and FG FF all did what they did for a pink vote.
    Transgender lesbian homosexual bi- sexual i’ii try anything once sexual.

    Look at that buck egjit Bruce Jenner, been married 3 times Fathered children now he’s 65 and wants to be a woman. They need locked up and taken away society. In case they cold influence some poor soul who doesn’t know any better.
    Who would have believed it IRELAND TUT TUT.

    • IrelandSaoirse May 27, 2015 at 1:16 am #

      I agree with you 100% Norma, never thought i’d see the day when I’d be on the same side of the argument as the Dup, but there ya go, I suppose we are all praying to the same God when you study it.
      I thought Gerry and Panty bliss was gas,Gerry is such a frign ejit,I believe him now when he says he was never in the Ra, frig sake he’d have shamed them LOL.

  18. RJC May 26, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    I thought that voting ‘Yes’ seemed to be the Christian thing to do.