Arlene Foster confronted by gay journalist on same-sex marriage views

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DUP leader Arlene Foster has defended her stance on same-sex marriage after she was confronted on the issue by a gay journalist.

During her appearance at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham yesterday, the former first minister was asked by Guardian columnist Owen Jones why gay people should not have the right to express their love for their partners by getting married in Northern Ireland.

The Fermanagh MLA responded: “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.”

When Mr Jones claimed that most people in the Province disagree with her views, Mrs Foster said: “That could well be the case.”

He asserted that same-sex marriage in NI was “going to happen anyway” and asked the DUP leader: “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’?”

But Mrs Foster hit back and said felt politicians must have principles and be allowed to express them.

“I think you should be allowed to have a belief, otherwise we would live in a very intolerant world wouldn’t we?” she concluded.