Conservative leader David Cameron has said he “will never validate” the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) stance on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT) issues.
During the very same Radio 1 interview, Mr Cameron pointed out while he would not rule out forming a coalition government with DUP MPs, and he “profoundly disagreed” with their LGBT policies.
A member of the LGBT community, Mary Hassan, from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was amongst those who put questions to Mr. Cameron during the Newsbeat debate. She said that the DUP had caused “significant and long-term damage” to LGBT individuals in Northern Ireland.
Ms Hassan then said the DUP had “voted consistently against government bills to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation”.
“They’ve consistently blocked motions for marriage equality and uphold a gay blood ban and currently are putting forward the conscience clause bill.
“Now, I’d like to know – is staying in office more important that the LGTB community in Northern Ireland?” Ms Hassan asked the Conservative party leader.
Mr Cameron said “I totally disagree with the DUP about this [LGTB] issue and nothing I ever do will go against the values I have about believing in equality and equal rights for gay and lesbian people and I’ve put that, as it were, on the line by supporting equal marriage.
“So I’m never going to change my views about that.”
The DUP has historically strong links to various Protestant churches, and is the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and strongly oppose gay marriage. Back in November last year, a DUP politician in Northern Ireland unveiled plans to introduce a ‘conscience clause’ – effectively allowing those with religious beliefs to ignore equality laws.