(Updated to include responses from the Ulster Unionist Party and People Before Profit)
Research conducted by Ruth McCarthy highlights some stark differences between the parties contesting this years Westminster elections in Northern Ireland on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
A series of questions were asked:
1a Does your party visibly support LGBTQ equality issues in your party manifesto, on your website and in election campaigning materials?
If YES, please give examples. If NO, please state why.
1b Please give any other examples of how your party supports LGBTQ visibility.
2a What is your party policy on tackling homophobia and transphobia through education and training in schools?
2b What is your party’s record in actively tackling homophobia and transphobia through education and training in schools?
3a What is your party’s policy on addressing the serious health inequalities faced by LGBTQ people?
3b What is your party’s record in actively addressing the serious health inequalities faced by LGBTQ people?
4a Does your party support Equal Marriage for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland?
4b What is your party’s record in actively supporting Equal Marriage for same-sex couples?
5a Does your party support the Conscience Clause? 5b What is your party’s record in actively opposing the Conscience Clause?
6a Does your party support a total ban on gay men giving blood?
6b What’s your party’s track record in opposing the blood ban for gay men?
7 Does your party have any LGBTQ-identified candidates standing in the 2015 General Election?
8 Does your party have any mandatory training or education for staff around LGBTQ issues? If NO, do you plan to change this? Please outline when.
9 Trans communities in the UK And Ireland have united to produce a simple three point manifesto that they
are asking all 2015 Election candidates to support or decline. It takes less than a minute to read and you can find it at www.transmanifesto.org.uk
Does your party support or decline the three main principles?
A few samples on the question “Does your party support Equal Marriage for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland?”
The SDLP supports the equal marriage campaign and we believe that civil marriage should be available to all regardless of sexual orientation.
Yes. Sinn Féin actively campaign for marriage equality north and south. Sinn Féin have put for- ward motions for marriage equality before the As- sembly and local councils across Ireland. Represent- atives from the Marriage Equality Campaign gave a keynote address at Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2015 along- side elected representatives from Sinn Féin LGBT.
Yes. We support freedom of religion and freedom from religion. We believe that faith groups should be able to decide for themselves if they wish to solemnise same-sex weddings and this will work similarly to the recognition of divorce in the UK, whereby individual religious organisations can choose whether or not to recognise it or not, but it is state-recognised. We also support humanist groups being allowed to conduct same-sex marriages.
Yes/ Civil marriage should be available to same-sex couples on the same basis as different-sex couples. We do not believe that religious institutions should be required to conduct such marriages if they do not wish to do so.
No. The DUP is opposed to marriage for same-sex couples and tabled a petition of concern ensuring the motion for Equality Marriage was blocked under the Northern Ireland Assembly’s cross- community voting rules. They blocked Marriage Equality motions a total of three times in 2013.
This is a matter of conscience for the Ulster Unionist Party so each of our elected representatives, at all levels, have a free vote on it.
No. TUV supports “traditional family values” in its most recent manifesto and is outspokenly opposed to Equal Marriage. They also call for Civil Partnerships to be abolished.
Yes. The Workers Party supports Marriage Equality.
No specific information. UKIP councillor David Silverster infamously claimed flooding in the UK in 2013 was God’s revenge for legalising gay marriage.
People Before Profit
Conservative Party of Northern Ireland:
No info available.
(N.B. ‘People Before Profit’ and the Ulster Unionist Party did not respond to the original survey questions. When we have them they will be uploaded and this post updated)
(Disclaimer: this survey was NOT conducted by Slugger O’Toole – we encourage any parties featured or not featured to contact us)
You can download the entire report here: LGBTQ Election 2015 Update1