As a gay man, part of a loving, stable relationship (12 years and counting) and someone hoping to get married soon, I would like to record my disgust and anger at the policies of the DUP.
I'm a lifelong unionist. I lived in London for 17 years and recently returned with my partner to start a successful business; one that employs a half-dozen of our fellow citizens. We are part of the community here in Holywood and have been treated with kindness by everyone.
We're British citizens, pay British taxes and, presumably, are entitled to the same rights as our fellow citizens across the UK. It would seem not. To the DUP, we are second-class citizens.
Thanks in no small part to the DUP, we can't marry here in Northern Ireland and will have to go back to London, or elsewhere in the UK, to do so - at great cost and hurt. Why should I not marry in my hometown?
The simple fact is that the "mask has slipped" (to quote the deputy Prime Minister) in recent days, with the Jim Wells incident and Ian Paisley's reiteration of the "immoral, offensive and obnoxious" jibe. Only today, I hear one of their councillors describe me as a "sinner".
I now live in a society where members of our "government" describe my lifestyle as "immoral, offensive and obnoxious". This is no small matter. Nor is it excusable as a "matter of opinion".
Their opinion is bigotry and hate. It's as simple as that. Spare me the "religious" arguments. Religious arguments do not govern in the UK.
The DUP are unfit to hold office in a modern, democratic society. They are an affront to the values of the British state that they so vehemently campaign to remain in. They are an embarrassment to decent British people across these islands.
I weep for what these people are doing for the reputation of this small part of the UK.
Holywood, Co Down