Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster called troubles around blocking equal marriages to be a storm in a teacup, because nobody actually needs same-sex marriages including same-sex couples themselves.
She told BBC : “Why would we, when we feel so strongly about the definition of marriage and the redefining of it, why would we give away that tool [Petitions of Concern]? If people can’t see see the nuance between our defending of marriage and gay rights then, I’m sorry, they really need to look at themselves. This suggestion that every single person who’s a homosexual wants to change the definition of marriage is actually wrong. I know plenty of people in that community who don’t want to see marriage redefined and are quite content to live in partnership. Some of the abuse that is directed at me and colleagues online is very, very vicious. And I think if activists want to have a conversation about where they are coming from, do they seriously think they are going to influence me by sending me abuse? They are not going to influence me by sending me abuse – in fact, they are going to send me in the opposite direction and people need to reflect on that.”