Here are five reasons that’s incredibly worrying:
1) Mervyn Storey
Mervyn Storey is the Chair of the DUP’s Education Committee.
He is also a member of the Caleb Foundation that believes, amongst other things, that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old despite the fact that it is most certainly not.
Disregarding science and reason, ‘Young Earthers’ as they’re known, subscribe to the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, that the planet was created by God in six days.
A number of other prominent DUP members are also members of the Caleb Foundation and one survey found 40% of DUP activists believe in Young Earth creationism and want it taught in schools.
This group has considerable influence already in Northern Ireland - in 2012 they lobbied the National Trust to include creationist theories alongside scientific explanations at the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre.
A woman cannot have an abortion in Northern Ireland largely because of the DUP.
The group’s leader, Arlene Foster, last year vowed to retain a ban on terminations except when a woman’s life is in danger, only conceding to “carefully consider” cases where a pregnancy arises as a result of rape.
She told the Guardian: “I would not want abortion to be as freely available here as it is in England and don’t support the extension of the 1967 act.”
3) They are ambiguous on climate change
Their manifesto made no mention of the issue and they once appointed a climate change denier, Sammy Wilson, as Northern Ireland environment minister.
Whilst holding that position he banned government ‘Act On CO2’ adverts from TV as he thought they were “propaganda”.
4) They’re not keen on the LGBTQ community
Their opposition to to gay marriage is well documented but it gets worse.
In 2013 a DUP Assembly Member, Tom Buchanan, told children at a school that homosexuality is “an abomination”.
5) Links to terrorist sympathisers?
Some have highlighted the party’s awkward past, after Foster launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn.
She said: “There were many fine people who reached out to the IRA and asked them to desist.
“He actually supported them, he wanted them to win!”
And here’s a bonus sixth!
DUP founder, Ian Paisley, once said:
“Line dancing is as sinful as any other type of dancing, with its sexual gestures and touching. It is an incitement to lust.”
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