Belfast Telegraph

Watch: DUP's Foster confronted by gay journalist Owen Jones about same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland

DUP leader Arlene Foster, at the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
DUP leader Arlene Foster, at the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

This is the moment Arlene Foster was confronted at the Tory party conference about her opposition to same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones, who is himself gay, asked Mrs Foster why gay people should not have the right to express their love for their partners by getting married in Northern Ireland.

The DUP leader replied: "Well they do have the right to express their love. Nobody is taking about anybody not being able to love another person. Of course they can.

"I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Mr Jones responded by saying most people in Northern Ireland disagree with her position on same-sex marriage.

Mrs Foster said: "That could well be the case."

Mr Jones said: "This is going to happen, equal marriage, and history will judge all of this. Don't you think you should go down in history as somebody who confronted your own party and said, 'Let gay people have the right to get married and share their love just as I do'?"

Mrs Foster said: "I think Owen, the important thing is as a politician you have to have principles and if you believe in something I think you should be allowed to articulate that."

A clearly irate Mr Jones replies: "That's a principle? Not for gay people to get married? What a principle..."

Mrs Foster said: "If you have a belief, I think you should be allowed to have a belief, otherwise we would live in a very intolerant world wouldn't we?"

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