It feels like forever ago that marriage equality won the vote to come into law in Northern Ireland, but it’s yet to actually come into effect as it has been blocked repeatedly by “Petitions of Concern” from the DUP.
Now, support for same-sex marriage has reached 70% in Northern Ireland and yet First Minister Arlene Foster is still trying to block the issue. As we discussed previously, the DUP have employed Petitions of Concern to block equal marriage coming into effect, as well as running platforms on “Defending Marriage” in Assembly elections earlier this year.
Arlene Foster has also said that she will continue to block any future legislation on the issue, essentially forcing the beliefs of herself and the DUP on the people at large, despite overall support for marriage equality.
This hardline stance is rapidly falling behind the times, and I do wonder how long this will be allowed to go on. It seems pretty clear that the DUP is misusing the law to push their beliefs.
At the moment, 65.22% of people support same-sex marriage, with 28.26% believing that the law should remain the same, and only 6.52% are undecided. If you disregard the undecided people, support for same-sex marriage is at 70%.
The poll that found this data also found that there are still people within the DUP voter base that agree with their strategy. 54% of Unionists are opposed to equal marriage, whereas 37% are in favour, while 92% if Republicans and Nationalists backed reform.
These polls and results are thanks to LucidTalk, and Lucid Talk managing director Bill White spoke to the Belfast Telegraph about the results: “However, with a majority of unionists still against, this indicates that in a full blown referendum situation – with the DUP electoral machine in full opposition mode – then the final result could much closer than our polling might suggest.”
It does seem that for the moment, the First Minister is stubbornly going against even members of her own party and won’t be backing down any time soon. Hopefully, we can see a counter move made to see what the people actually voted for come into fruition.