It is not the DUP which is holding up progress towards equal marriage in the North but a faction within the party.
My own estimation after a few months in the Assembly is that only around 25 of the 108 MLAs are opposed to gay marriage in principle. But in practice, the device of a petition of concern gives them a veto over everyone else.
Arlene Foster cannot afford to alienate the anti-gay element within her ranks. Keeping the party together means whipping all her MLAs into line to block any measure the illiberal tendency objects to.
It isn’t the tail which is wagging the dog but only the tip of the tail.
How much further does the fundamentalist minority have to shrink before they are told that they don’t rule the roost any more?
Members of the DUP who have no problem with equal marriage should stand up and speak out.
Eamonn McCann, People Before Profit MLA , Foyle