DUP’s gay funding dilemma…

INSTEAD of picketing gay pride parades, DUP ministers-to-be will now be funding them. Also, Ian Paisley’s OFMDFM is “is committed to allocating £180,000 over a 12-month period to promote equality for the gay community”, while Edwin Poots’ Arts and Culture Department is “funding an increased grant for this year’s Belfast Gay Pride Festival”. Mr Poots said: “There is little point making decisions that will end up being overturned in a court of law” – although that never stopped the DUP before. He added: “I haven’t taken up the position so I haven’t awarded anything.” If he hasn’t take up the position, then why is he issuing official statements through his department? Either way, the Free Presbyterians ain’t happy, with Rev Ivan Foster writing on his website: “If, as he [Poots] says, he will not intervene or attempt to stop such a grant being made then he will share in the culpability of a most shameful act, namely using public funds to promote and celebrate that which he has opposed in the past and which is an abomination before God… He could resign as minister-elect and so refuse to be part of any betrayal of the gospel of Christ of which betrayal he will be a part if, on May 8th, he dons the dark mantle of Culture minister… Mr. Poots cannot serve God and the world. He cannot please God and the iniquitous sodomite lobby or, indeed, his Sinn Fein/IRA partners.” Bit of an early dilemma for the minister in waiting, who’s also a Free P.

  • Pete Baker

    “If he hasn’t take up the position, then why is he issuing official statements through his department?”

    Indeed, Gonzo.

    And it’s something that was mentioned on Slugger at the time..

  • ben

    I love the phrase “he dons the dark mantle of Culture minister” and will be finding ways to work it into casual conversation.

  • Bp1078

    Ha!
    Looks like Edwin has been set up big time with this appointment; not only will it involve freebees to the nayce sporting occasions, but he’ll also have to get his hands dirty with Gay Pride, Irish language provision, the Sands Siro….

    Not to worry, he can always turn to his committee chairman, Baz McIlduff for moral support

  • merrie

    Looks as if saving the Union is more important to the DUP than saving one’s religious practices – ie imposing them upon other people.

    Hell and damnation. Priorities have to be set, compromises have to be made. I wonder if Paul Berry will be involved in a grant application for Gay Pride.

  • neefer

    Do you have to don a dark mantle before they let you in to the iniquitous sodomite lobby? It all sounds rather chic and exciting.

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Perhaps in his official capacity as minister its a Parade HE SHOULD march in lmao

  • big jim

    the Sands Siro….

    bp

    Still hoping for an Orangedome in Belfast ?

    Perhaps you can name it after the pup/uvf leader who was given such a great send off by the ifa during the Glen’s game, minutes silence, flags at half mast etc..

  • observer

    will mr foster stop paying his taxes which go to gay groups?

    even god makes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust , the straight and the gays

  • Didn’t the Catholic Church threatened to excommunicate IRA members? Maybe the Free Presbyterian Church could do the same to members who promote sodomy when it gets a new Pope… later this year.

  • plum duff

    ‘if, on May 8th, he dons the dark mantle of Culture minister…’

    Does he get a light sabre, a helmet and an inhaler as well? Jeez, I want *that* job!

  • Johnny Foreigner

    merrie

    “Looks as if saving the Union is more important to the DUP than saving one’s religious practices – ie imposing them upon other people.”

    No actually, refusing to give anglers / fox hunters / bdsm enthusiasts / gays / pro-lifers / whatever thousands of pounds in order for them to parade in the street celebrating themselves would NOT be imposing anything on anyone. Imposing on them would be banning the parade.

    Personally I’d be more comfortable with no public money going to any parades, especially if they are controversial to even a minority. If you do do this then inevitably you have to pick and choose between different groups and establish a hierarchy of who is worthy of funding and who isn’t, which is discrimatory by definition and cannot be impartial but is always going to reflect someones prejudices. I might make an exception for a purely civic thing initiated by the council like the Lord Mayor’s Show though.

  • moochin photoman

    Presumably Foster would prefer the funding to go to the Ulster Scot lot instead (Its a Feckin Dialect)

  • merrie

    Johnny Foreigner

    That’s what I meant! If the DUP were true to their religious practices they would NOT be approving funding for Gay Pride.

    What they have been doing in the past, before they decided to go into government, was picketing, showing their opposition to homosexuality (amongst other things they deemed sinful) – ie attempting to impose their religious beliefs onto other people.

    The DUP change is both hypocritical (funding what they deem sinful) and pragmatic (attempting to keep the Union going by agreeing to share power).

  • noel adams

    This type of situation will crop up from time to time if Ian Paisley is to earn respect as first minister there must be differences between DUP and free Ps.welcome to the world of real politics.
    Currently ivan foster is running an anti cardinal bernard law section on his web site that situation brought shame to the church,but ivan was silent on Spotlight alligations re Free Ps in canida.Am i the only one who thinks there is a wiff of hypocracy here.

  • I always wondered why Pootsy permanently looks like he’s sucking on a lemon. Now I know.

  • Johnny Foreigner

    merrie

    “That’s what I meant! If the DUP were true to their religious practices they would NOT be approving funding for Gay Pride.”

    I got that bit and accede it.

    “What they have been doing in the past, before they decided to go into government, was picketing, showing their opposition to homosexuality (amongst other things they deemed sinful) – ie attempting to impose their religious beliefs onto other people.”

    No, opposing homosexuality is not the same as imposing your religious beliefs onto other people. No more than the gay pride march itself is doing so. Don’t confuse positive and negative rights.

    It’s only imposing your beliefs on homosexuals if you make them illegal. Now Ian Paisley may support that currently I don’t know, but merely saying that homosexuality is sinful and wrong (as indeed anyone who objects to sex outside marriage kind of has to anyway), and turning up to a gay pride march with a placard saying so, is not imposing your religious beliefs onto others.

  • Johnny Foreigner

    “It’s only imposing your beliefs on homosexuals if you make them illegal. Now Ian Paisley may support that currently I don’t know, but merely saying that homosexuality is sinful and wrong (as indeed anyone who objects to sex outside marriage kind of has to anyway), and turning up to a gay pride march with a placard saying so, is not imposing your religious beliefs onto others.”

    Ditto if Outrage! turned up outside a DUP conference with placards.

  • Philip

    Is it right for Free Presbyterians to be ministers at all – how would you feel if a priest or cardinal was to become a minister?
    Will power-sharing just result in sectarian horse trading as DUP/Sinn Fein represent diagonally opposing views of how society should be run?
    Paisley always screamed wolf about a pan-nationalist front – how about forming a pan-unionist one for opposition. The Assembly cannot be an effective debating chamber if all members belong to parties that are entrenched into the Executive – all will have vested interests.

  • Johnny Foreigner

    Philip

    “Is it right for Free Presbyterians to be ministers at all”

    Of course it is. What would you say if someone asked “Is it right for Roman Catholics to be ministers at all”? Every Christian follows some denomination or another. Are you saying that only atheists / agnostics should be ministers?

    “- how would you feel if a priest or cardinal was to become a minister?”

    A damn site better than how I feel about an ex-IRA man becoming a minister frankly. If people vote for a priest to represent them then no problem. If the RC church have a problem with priests getting involved in politics then that’s an issue between them and such priests – nothing to do with me.

  • merrie

    OK, you are probably right about ultimately imposing your beliefs if you make a practice illegal. Until now, the DUP could not do that because they were never ruling NI. They could only organise protests. Now they are agreeing to fund what they were protesting about.

    The DUP (or some FPers amongst them) would like to have a “Protestant government for a Protestant people” based on dated moral practices, and if they did have majority rule they could pass legislation which would turn NI into a Taliban-like statelet. That would last only until the next election because somehow such rules would not go down well with the electorate.

    It is best NI has shared rule now, given the extremes of the two major parties. SF can restrain the DUP and vice versa. SF is more secular than many people in the DUP and just hasn’t got into irrelevant protests about other people’s moral issues.

  • james orr

    Hmmm – if the DUP are willing to thole gay pride parades, will SF be able to thole Orange parades (and call of their attack dogs?)

    What’s good for the goose…

  • james orr

    Philip,
    Didn’t John Hume qualify as an RC priest from Maynooth? And isnt Ruth Kelly (Blair’s Education Secretary) a member of Opus Dei?

  • james orr

    (sorry to do three in a row). Will the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church invite Paisley this year? And will he go? He has often been outside Church House as part of a Free P protest about ecumenism. An interesting theological dilemma, especially as he met with Archbishop Sean Brady in another historic first before Christmas.

    I suppose he snowballed Sean Lamass back in 65, but now in 2007 he’s shaken hands with Bertie Ahern and will soon be meeting him at the Boyne.

  • Didn’t John Hume qualify as an RC priest from Maynooth?

    Yes, and he took secret orders from the Jesuits.`

  • james orr

    sammy,
    tell me you’re having a laugh, lest you feed my paranoia!

  • Rory

    James Orr does raise an interesting point.

    I cannot speak for Sinn Fein but I suspect that they would be absolutely delighted to support funding for a Gay Orange Parade. Perhaps James would provide more details of this proposal so that it could be posted on international gay web sites and where I am quite sure it would receive the most enthusiastic support.

    Is it proposed that Johnny Adair and Michael Stone would, hand-in-hand, lead it off? Now that would be liberating.

  • James, no joke dude. They even provided him with a special net blessed with holy water for to catch Protestant children with and send them off to be brought up by nuns.

  • SuperSoupy

    Sammy,

    Hume did get his degree from St Patrick’s but did not proceed with becoming a priest.

  • T.Ruth

    It always amazes me how people with no long term commitment to Northern Ireland are prepared to pontificate on how a future Northern Ireland should run,even as they are preparing to leave this green and pleasant land . However I also resent Sodomites and their ilk receiving specific funding that is not available to other groups and that they are in essence treated more favourably than other groups engaged in much more worthwhile enterprises.I am all for some element of public money being used to promote essential cultural and sporting activity but Gay Pride celebrations hwich are offensive to the vast majority of normal moral people should not be funded.
    T.Ruth

  • páid

    T.Ruth,

    how do you know they are sodomites?

    Perhaps they are all handjob merchants.

  • Wilde Rover

    “I am all for some element of public money being used to promote essential cultural and sporting activity but Gay Pride celebrations hwich are offensive to the vast majority of normal moral people should not be funded”

    Therefore, there is a minority of normal moral people who don’t find it offensive.

    And the abnormal immoral people, they probably don’t find it offensive either.

    So if some normal, moral people don’t mind, and all abnormal immoral people don’t mind, what’s all the fuss?

  • Gay Pride celebrations hwich are offensive to the vast majority of normal moral people should not be funded.

    Your homophobia is immoral.

    Soupy – I was being a Wind Up Merchant mate.

  • willis

    T Ruth

    “It always amazes me how people with no long term commitment to Northern Ireland are prepared to pontificate on how a future Northern Ireland should run,even as they are preparing to leave this green and pleasant land.”

    Leaving aside all the other stuff for the moment.

    What are you on about?

  • Reader

    merrie: The DUP (or some FPers amongst them) would like to have a “Protestant government for a Protestant people” based on dated moral practices, and if they did have majority rule they could pass legislation which would turn NI into a Taliban-like statelet.
    Even with majority rule, where would they get the 55 votes in the assembly? Do you reckon there are 55 FreePs there now?

  • merrie

    Reader:

    Can you imagine some non-nationalists/republicans voting with SF against the unionist DUP in order to defeat them?

  • Reader

    merrie: Can you imagine some non-nationalists/republicans voting with SF against the unionist DUP in order to defeat them?
    I don’t get you. All I asked is where the DUP would get 55 votes from in the assembly to pass socially repressive legislation. I don’t even think the DUP could count on all of their own 36 MLAs for (e.g.) chaining up swings on Sunday, let alone anything more serious. Where will the other votes come from?
    (Note, this is still based on your majority rule [a.k.a. nightmare] scenario)

  • coldflow

    @ T.Ruth

    ‘Gay Pride celebrations hwich are offensive to the vast majority of normal moral people should not be funded’

    I’m dying to know what ‘normal morality’ is. Anyone want to bet it’s T.Ruth’s interpretation?