Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster has told a conference that she will reject pressure to introduce same-sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland. Currently marriage is between one man and one woman in Northern Ireland and abortion remains illegal, except to preserve the life of the mother.
As reported by the Christian Institute, Ms Foster said her support for traditional marriage and the unborn is resolute, adding she was sad that opponents of redefining marriage were automatically branded as ‘homophobic’ and ‘haters’.
In June, shortly after the Conservatives brokered a deal with the DUP following the surprise general election, Westminster said it would fund abortions for Northern Irish women who go to England. But Ms Foster said the DUP would do everything in its power to uphold Northern Ireland’s current law on abortion.
She was speaking at an event organised by the Methodist Church in Ireland, at which she said her party believes ‘marriage is between a man and a woman and it remains my position very firmly’.
She added: ‘The most frustrating thing about this whole debate is the fact that if you stand up for marriage and if you stand up for the definition of marriage, as we believe in it, then in some way that makes you homophobic and a hater of gays.
‘Nothing could be further from the truth, and it hurts me when people call me a homophobe, just because I stand up for the definition of marriage which I believe in. I think this debate has become very toxic’.