Arlene Foster says murder of Lyra McKee 'has not changed' DUP stance on same-sex marriage

The leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster, has said the murder of journalist Lyra McKee "has not changed" her party's stance on same-sex marriage.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 3:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 4:43 pm
DUP leader, Arlene Foster, pictured at the funeral of Lyra McKee in Belfast on Wednesday. Inset: the late Lyra McKee. (Photos: Presseye and Pacemaker)
DUP leader, Arlene Foster, pictured at the funeral of Lyra McKee in Belfast on Wednesday. Inset: the late Lyra McKee. (Photos: Presseye and Pacemaker)

Mrs. Foster made the remarks in an interview with RTE's Morning Ireland programme on Thursday.

The DUP leader attended the funeral of Ms. McKee who was openly gay and who intended to propose to her girlfriend, Sara Canning, in New York next month.

Ms. McKee was a talented journalist and was shot dead by a masked gunman in the Creggan estate on April 18.

DUP leader, Arlene Foster, pictured at the funeral of Lyra McKee in Belfast on Wednesday. Inset: the late Lyra McKee. (Photos: Presseye and Pacemaker)

Ms. Foster sat only a few feet away from Lyra McKee's devastated partner, Sara, in St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast on Wednesday.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said whilst she empathised with Ms. McKee's partner Sara it did not mean her party's opinion on same-sex marriage had changed.

"You shouldn't conflate sympathy and empathy with a political issue," declared Mrs. Foster.

"We have a long standing policy which hasn't changed, that remains the position of the party."

Mrs. Foster added: "That doesn't mean I cannot sympathise and empathise with Sara and say to her that we feel her love.

"Her loss was all of our loss because this was a young woman who was doing great things in journalism and living her life in a city that she adopted.

"You shouldn't conflate the two issues of empathy and sympathy and the political issue that is the definition of marriage."