Belfast Telegraph

Gay marriage: Teen asks DUP to explain why they voted against legalising same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland

By Jonny Bell

A Co Down teenager with same-sex parents has appealed to his DUP MLA and Assembly members who voted against gay marriage, to explain their rationale.

Darragh Tibbs (15) made the appeal in an impassioned video on YouTube.

He says his same-sex parents have been together in a stable relationship for the past 20 years and have two sons.

In November, the Assembly voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

However, a DUP petition of concern – meaning a separate majority of both unionists and nationalists was needed to succeed - blocked the motion.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal. The Republic of Ireland also voted in favour of legalising the unions in an historic referendum last year.

In his post, Darragh asks: "Northern Ireland led the way in LGBT equality – so what has changed?

"It seems perfectly reasonable to me that a democratic government should give all its citizens the same legal entitlements."

Darragh explains how he has written to his MLA, the DUP's North Down representative, Gordon Dunne asking him to explain why he voted against same-sex marriage.

"Mr Dunne is a straight man," continued Darragh.

"It is not as if the quiet streets of his North Down constituency will suddenly be filled with raving homosexuals."

Darragh then reads all the names of those MLAs to have voted against the bill.

"If they don't support same-sex marriage, then they don't support equality," he added.

Darragh's parents said the views expressed in the piece were his own personal opinions and they asked for no publicity resulting from it.

Gordon Dunne could not be reached for comment.

A DUP spokesman said: "The party supports the traditional definition of marriage of one man and one woman.

"And we have voted along those lines many times.

"We don't believe marriage should be redfined."

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