DUP need to follow people on gay marriage

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Sinn Féin MLA Elisha McCallion has claimed the DUP are out of touch with the people of the North on marriage equality following speculation the main unionist party could split over the issue.

The Foyle MLA made the comments after former DUP Health Minister Jim Wells told the Belfast Telegraph: “Peter will not marry Paul in Northern Ireland.”

Mrs. McCallion said: “Comments from Jim Wells that the DUP could split if there is equal marriage in the north highlights the attitude of that party to equality.

“His remarks show just how out of touch he and his party are with the views of the general public.

“And it shows once again that the DUP is placing its party self interest above the need for equality for all.”

The local Sinn Féin representative reiterated her party’s pledge that it will place equality, respect and integrity at the head of its political agenda.

She said the DUP needed to reflect on the wishes of society at large.

“They have clearly learned nothing from the recent election where the majority of people voted for equality and respect for all,” she said.

“Marriage equality is an issue where the people are ahead of many politicians.

“It’s long past the time that equal marriage should be extended throughout the island.”

Back in 2015 a narrow majority of the Stormont Assembly voted in favour of same-sex marriage. However, the motion in favour of the proposal was blocked after the DUP launched a petition of concern.