Senior Tory Divisions Over DUP Gay Rights Opposition Already Generating News

The Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, has declared tonight that she has been given an assurance by Theresa May that any deal with the DUP will not affect LGBTI rights in Britain.

From the BBC website:

She told the BBC’s Reporting Scotland programme that she had spoken about the issue with Theresa May on Friday evening.

Ms Davidson said: “I was fairly straightforward with her and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than party.

“One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI rights.”

The Scottish Tory leader said she had asked for, and received, a “categoric assurance” from Mrs May that any arrangement between the Conservatives and the DUP would see “absolutely no rescission of LGBTI rights in the rest of the UK”.

Interestingly, Davidson has claimed that Theresa May has ‘agreed to try to use her influence to advance LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland.’

Sinn Fein has made equal marriage rights a core negotiation issue in the recent discussions relating to the return of devolution. The fact that a prominent figure in the Conservative Party has already raised the matter publicly as a potential source of friction and embarrassment for the Tories within hours of the announcement of a Conservative-DUP deal to keep May in power indicates that this has the potential to be a thorny issue.

Ruth Davidson has given Sinn Fein – and Jeremy Corbyn – a stick with which to beat the fledgling Conservative-DUP partnership in its infancy period. It will be interesting to see how sharp divisions between the two parties over this policy and others are exploited in the time to come, and whether it forces the DUP into modifying its position to appear less extreme before a British audience.

  • Fred Johnson

    DUP’s policies now getting aired across the UK, may increase their toxicity even in NI.

    And the Tory’s will definitely be hurt by association with a bunch of neanderthals.

    Good enough for both of them!

  • lizmcneill

    Pass the popcorn.

  • They really deserve eachother, don’t they?

  • hgreen

    Sly News asking why a female PM wants a partnership with a party that denies woman’s rights.

  • Robin Keogh

    Much has been made of the DUP-UDA/Tory marriage. Over in the UK people are asking serious questions, this is going to be hilarious, sit back and enjoy the show.

  • james

    Well, Robin, you say that – but look at what happened to Corbyn.

    His public association with PIRA/Sinn Fein (which one would have expected to damage him) seems not to have hurt him.

    So the Tories getting into bed with the DUP (a party which, unlike SF, does not and did not have a paramilitary wing but definitely some very unsavoury voters) is unlikely to harm the Tories much.

  • Robin Keogh

    Its only been 24 hours and if you saw Question Time tonight you can see quite clearly that a large trunk of the UK public will have no truck with Irish Unionists in the form of the DUP. Objections are getting louder. I hope it stays as is. Its gonna be great craic altogether.

  • james

    “a large trunk of the UK public will have no truck with Irish Unionists in the form of the DUP.”

    What exactly does ‘have no truck with’ mean, Robin?

  • Davie Sproule

    What does the I stand for?

  • JohnTheOptimist

    Of what relevance are the DUP’s views on abortion and traditional marriage, unless as part of any deal they were seeking to change the laws in (mainland) Britain? I think its very unlikely they’d want to do that. The most they’d want as part of any deal is that the Conservatives promise not to legislate unilaterally for abortion or gay marriage in N. Ireland, which many liberals have been urging . As a nationalist, I naturally favour decisions on these matters being made by Irish politicians and not by British ones.

    As for the DUP being ‘anti-women’, don’t they have a woman leader? – which is one more than the Labour or Lib Dem parties have ever had?

    On the wider issue of the deal itself, it makes perfect sense. As a nationalist, I don’t particularly care if the UK achieves a stable government but, assuming one sees that as a desirable goal, a Conservative-DUP deal is the only one that can provide that.

  • TJ53

    No great fan of Kay Burley but shes gone up in my estimation in the last few days.She summed it up yesterdsy when interviewing the token Tory whi had been wheeled out with “you will get into bed with anybody”.Reply”waffle waffle waffle”.

  • TJ53

    Dont be so harsh on neanderthals please

  • TJ53

    I think the fact Foster(see BT)had a meeting with the leader of a terrorist organisatiin two days after his organisation allegedly killed a man in a car park might be picked up even by the right wing media.Rupert will be cross

  • smcgiff

    Aye, politics can sure throw up some strange bedfellows, but at least the DUP approve of this ‘unnatural’ union 🙂

    We now have a Loyalist paramilitary (retired(ish)) supported UK government.

    This is going to interesting.

  • William Kinmont

    Special status for NI is not acceptable to the Dup for brexit but essential to them when it comes to enforcing their biblical beliefs on others lives.The union with GB is important so they can continue to keep NI different from GB

  • Angry Mob

    LGBTI = Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex.

    I didn’t get the memo either.

  • the Moor

    It’s a common idiom, readily understood …

  • the Moor

    ‘Strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable’ …. Convinced yet?

  • the Moor

    Sly News, I like that

  • smcgiff

    And that’s the abbreviated version

  • aquifer
  • grumpy oul man

    Since it didn’t damage him then its safe to assume that the British have moved on.
    When do you think unionists will be able to move on.

  • Sprite

    Interestingly when the same sex marriage bill passed through Westminster 30% of MPs voted against. I thought the DUP were the only people opposed to it judging by the media.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    When life gives you lemons make lemonade. While horrified and embarrassed that anyone could think the DUP represent me this could be taken as an opportunity along the line of “Englands (Tory’s) weakness is (N) Ireland’s opportunity” to misquote.

    If DUPers were to sell their support in exchange for building new economies in NI rather that wasting it in pork-barrel handouts such as roads, schools, hospitals and bloody flags then the next five-odd years could be a chance for us to create something for the future.

  • Jag

    “Neanderthals”, Fred?

    Adam was a 100% Homo Sapien created 6,000 years ago. Don’t you come on here with your fanciful views about Evolution, suggesting we evolved from monkeys or something. This is N Ireland, there will never be “evolving”. Never!

  • Jag

    Remember a week ago when the DUP was getting testy about its links to the UDA? That’s going to be the Conservatives for the next three months (the time you’d give any Tory government to find an issue that will uncover infighting factions). Will a lifelong LGBT champion like Ruth Davison overlook the pedigree of the party sustaining her in government? She’s a politician and pragmatist so she’ll try, but no-one, not her constituents, not her significant other, not the basically liberal media, will allow her.

    At least Ruth Davison will be one less Tory the SNP need worry about in an Autumn election!

  • Gopher

    I dont understand your aversion to roads. Roads really do develop the economy and are politically neutral unless you are a Green. Roads are also permanent, no one can take that away. While nice there is always the risk a future Labour Government would up corperation tax

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed Jag, “delicious”, the term “Neanderthal” is pure science fiction to any creationist.

  • hgreen

    In order for the DUP to do that they’d have to have a vision for NI and strategic intelligence. As you know that’s not the case.

  • hgreen

    What, increase corp tax to a level lower than in 2010? Scary.

  • hgreen

    What relevance? It exposes the outrageous hypocrisy of the Tories who were warning about a Labour SNP pact and a coalition of chaos. Now within hours they’ve jumped into bed with a bunch of knuckle draggers.

  • the Moor

    that’s pretty much a two-thirds majority …

  • Granni Trixie

    The DUP is also likely to attract additional mud by closer association with Tory cuts, unpopular policies etc. Hostage to fortune?

  • the Moor

    you suggesting Adam was a shirt-lifter? Surely not. Next you’ll be saying he was a pape as well … OMG

  • Granni Trixie

    Apparently ‘women leader’ translates into fewer women candidates.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    No problem with roads or schools or hospitals I just think that, for example, getting the UK’s robotics R&D centre in NI or starting to host and build the UK’s SMRs would allow us to build more roads etc in twenty years time.

    We’d also be in a much stronger position wrt UK and RoI if we weren’t such a basket case.

  • Gaz

    Misreading the situation again Chris-Its not a coalition and there will be no changes in LGBT rights in England Scotland and Wales as you well know-Ruth Davison just showing a bit of over reaction-it will not affect her private life in any way.DUP just doing what Sinn Fein would love to do in Dublin-they just got there first-By the way if Sinn Fein were in Government in Dublin could the Irish Government claim to be an independent broker in Northern Ireland? – but then again Irish Governments have never been neutral on Northern Ireland even though they insist British Governments should show no bias in talks involving parties here-If the DUP are so bad then a party like Sinn Fein would maybe refuse to go into Government with them at Stormont

  • Gopher

    I would like that stuff to but unless you get a quality of life in Northern Ireland Jeremy you wont get people wanting to work or stay here thats why Im for getting the UK government to build us the roads, hospitals etc and remove passenger duty. Its up to *us* to create the enviroment that get people to set up high tech stuff here. At the minute we just are not doing that and its something we have to do ourselves SF the DUP and even Alliance have to grow up now and get on with that.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    I don’t think the quality of life here is too bad – if we had the jobs to offer people they would come/stay.

    “Us” won’t though so I suppose we’ll carry on suckling from the public teat until they get sick of us and we get hoofed out to God knows what.

  • jporter

    Guardian website headline currently “Tories ‘to negotiate formal coalition’ with the DUP”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    When I were a lad in mid ulster in the 90’s there were hardly any proper roads.

    Now the Castledawson roundabout is a 5 road junction cum industrial estate.

    The number of shops, pubs and services has contracted substantially since those days courtesy of these lovely roads.
    People now use villages as soul-less dormitories and drive miles for a pint of milk.

    And because of the various by-passes Magherafelt lost its A&E.

    I think we were happier being backwater…

  • SleepyD

    What the hells “intersex”? They’re not pulling different species into the mix and all?

  • SleepyD

    I’m still struggling with the “woman leader” bit, but don’t want to be accused of “playing the man”…oh no, I might have hoisted my petard.

  • Ciara 007

    The problem for the party is most likely to lie in the amount of scrutiny it receives from the British mainstream press because of its history.

  • Ciara 007

    The sad reality is that these Island’s are ghettoizing into groups of religious, political and economic tribal purists. The Alliance Green share of the vote yesterday was depressing ;-(

  • Reader

    Granni Trixie: closer association with Tory cuts, unpopular policies etc.
    I suspect the DUP is planning to cash the cheque in the form of an austerity relief slush fund and a guarantee of a soft border. But by all means get your complaints in early in case it’s the only chance you get.

  • Granni Trixie

    Dry your eyes for APNI – whilst we had higher ambitions our vote held up. Given the squeeze on the middle generally we appreciative that we were not wiped out.

  • Granni Trixie

    We still have RHI report and NAMa inquiries coming down the line. ..plenty still to come.

  • Reader

    You’re right of course. With loads of actual fault in the DUP it’s tempting, but hardly necessary, to pile on the speculation too.

  • Ciara 007

    I was really hoping Naomi Long would come through.

  • Pete

    There will obviously be no change to LGBTQ rights in England, Scotland, and Wales, due to the DUP.

    Anyone seriously suggesting that there will be is being utterly ridiculous.

  • Zorin001

    It sounds like the DUP are trying to dial back on that a bit and still pushing a less formal arrangement

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Don’t be silly and just use google. Gender is a biological spectrum according to um … science.

  • Pete

    Sensible post.

  • Pete

    DUP – most popular party in Northern Ireland
    Conservatives – most popular party in the UK

    Yes, they are clearly both completely “toxic”…

  • chrisjones2

    I deride many of the DUPs Political opinions on grounds of foolishness or mis judgement but they are elected and represent a genuine vein of opinion – opinion that people have the right to hold.

    But against that its instructive to see the groundswell of anti- religious, anti-Unionist bigotry that has swamped this thread. Its almost as if Gregory Campbell’s views on Irish have 10 or 20 republican alter egos.

    And many of those who support SFs deep desire for a role in Government In Dublin and tell the parties there it must happen, now openly oppose the DUP taking their electorally won place in the UK Government.

    Pure racism

  • chrisjones2

    Toxic really?

    Which ones?

    I am personally utterly in favour of gay marriage but I recognise that when it was passed at Westminster the DUP voted against – along with 150 other MPS from all parties.

    I disagree with them on Abortion – but again its a matter of conscience and people have a right to hold views. THis is still a live debate in England Wales and Scotland and the Republic

    So what are the TOXIC ones and what standard determines Toxicity?

  • chrisjones2

    ….and its still a dump ….but now a dump with roads leading away from it so thats progress….hang on though they lead to places like Toome, Magherafelt, Maghera Ballymena ………. I take that back …..its just a dump

  • chrisjones2

    Er unemployment was down to 35000 last time i looked. take away the long term unemployables and those just switching jobs and we are close to full employment.

    In the draft PfG they were for committing to create 50000 new jobs – which would have needed 20000 immigrants to fill them

  • chrisjones2

    Dont misjudge it. Its not that they don’t PERSONALLY Want these things its what they can carry with the voters. And that includes SF and the Stoops.

    The reality is that if Direct Rule does it to them on a free vote they will not resist to clear the decks. Bear in mind too that Arlene was prepared to trade off Gay Marriage in the recent talks , provoking Jim Wells Tantrum and threat to resign

  • chrisjones2

    Thats what devolved Government means though, isnt it. And all the Churches and many Nationalists will stand with the DUP on this too

  • chrisjones2

    I personally don’t care who does what with whom so long as children and animal are protected. Some countries and religions even permit marriage to inanimate objects and to those who have died

  • SleepyD

    Gerbils….or hamsters at a push. Got it now..🍩

  • Granni Trixie

    Thanks. Despite result, morale still good.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Believe it or not the area has/had potential for tourism but the locals are determined to knock down the nice old buildings and replace them with small houses and build roads through the nice bits.

    Apparently that’s ‘progress’ though…

  • Old Mortality

    Much as I admire Ruth Davidson, wherever did she (and a few other Tories) get the ludicrous idea that the DUP might attempt to reverse homosexual rights in Gt Britain? Even they know that it would be impossible. Teresa May had no trouble dealing with that feeble lob. The hints on Brexit are a different matter, however.

  • murdockp

    You can tarmac over the whole of Northern Ireland, but it will not matter a jot.

    Our councils and civil service are anti business and there is more red tape than a North Korean Military parade.

    We need wholesale reform of these bodies. Who knows, direct rule might be just the ticket.

  • murdockp

    but that is only because there is more money and a company car available if your are disabled. Which is why we have 210,000 DLA claimants. That equates to 20% of the working population.

    The Northern Ireland population knows the law better than London’s top lawyers and the officials oblige the applications because “Westminster’s paying for it”

  • William Kinmont

    That’s what the petition of concern has turned out to mean.

  • William Kinmont

    DUP are imposing their views not on the basis of democracy or devolved government. They are imposing them by the basis of petitions of concern,by obstructing devolution . In the absence of devolution if their views were based on logic or rational thought or science I would accept them. If they accepted a level playing field and removed church control over schools etc then you would have to accept the imposition of their views as fair. Until then they are entitled to their views, entitled to express them but not entitled to force them on others.

  • chrisjones2

    “DUP are imposing their views not on the basis of democracy or devolved government.”

    …but SF insisted that POCs be retained!!!

    The biggest sector of church controlled churches in NI are the Catholic ones. There have been recent major rows in ireland where the oversubscribed school sin some areas are refusing admission to non baptised Catholic children.

    Personally I would exclude all religion from schools as its mere superstition but people don’t want that and its not going to happen

  • chrisjones2

    ” If your position is supported by bibical ethics”

    Like the irish constitution? And the British one?

  • Marcus Orr

    Ruth Davidson didn’t get that ludicrous idea, she is not stupid, she’s merely raising a non-issue (LGBT) intentionally to help start the bandwagon in pouring tons of buckets of slime publically over the DUP because they still have some conservative positions, left-wing people hate this and use phony media outrage to isolate people and parties who they do not like. Simple manipulation from Davidson.
    (And yes she is left-wing, even though technically she goes as a Tory in Scotland).

  • William Kinmont

    The parts of either constitution that are most influenced in either by the church are often the parts that cause the most trouble or are most likely to be changed. In either constitution this influence is being erroded as 1st to third centuary superstitions of any particular sect are not that compatible with life today. As for schools yes both types here have this control, my experience with my own children locally has been that evangelical christian views are represented in the teaching staff markedly more than in our local population. This seemed to apply to all my local primary schools . Certainly there has been no errosion of input here. This does not justify the Catholic churches input . The idea of allowing any religious organisation access to childrens minds is madness.

  • William Kinmont

    I get your point that this is not just a Dup issue that catholic church and CoE also exert their influence.
    Gradually and far too slowly for me this input is waining Your last line that people do not want that i am not so sure of but yes unfortunately both sides are too dependant on it to have an open debare ob these issues.

  • Ciara 007

    A Rose between two thorns.