Belfast Telegraph

DUP asked SNP to stop Northern Ireland gay couples marrying in Scotland, claims Biagi

By Staff Reporter

A former Scottish government minister has claimed that the DUP formally asked him to restrict Northern Irish couples from having same-sex marriages in Scotland.

Ex-SNP minister Marco Biagi said that when the DUP was in the Stormont Executive he received an official letter from them, asking him to curtail access to the ceremony, which is not legal in Northern Ireland.

Mr Biagi, who is himself gay, was the SNP's Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment from November 2014 to May last year.

He said he refused the request.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has previously insisted her party is not anti-gay, but supports the traditional view that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

The DUP have not commented on Mr Biagi's claims.

An online petition against the proposed Conservative-DUP linkup coalition had yesterday gathered more than 700,000 signatures.

Over the weekend, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said she has received assurances from the Prime Minister over gay rights should the Tories do a deal with DUP.

Ms Davidson, who is gay, spoke out after Mrs May outlined a plan to seek a deal with the socially hardline party, which has 10 seats in the Commons, to prop up her minority administration.

In an apparent criticism of the plan, Ms Davidson on Friday tweeted a link to a speech she made in favour of marriage equality, with the message: "As a Protestant Unionist about to marry an Irish Catholic, here's the Amnesty Pride lecture I gave in Belfast."

Ms Davidson said she had received an assurance from the PM there would be no erosion of gay rights in Great Britain.

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