DUP leader Arlene Foster says 'Everyone is equal', while remaining opposed to same-sex marriage
She made the statement during a speech given to LGBTQ+ community event in Belfast.
Currently, Northern Ireland is the only region in all of Ireland and the United Kingdom that is still opposed to equal marriage, and one of the biggest reasons for that has been the DUP staunchly standing in the way of it.
In an attempt to build some bridges with the LGBTQ+ community in Northern Ireland, DUP leader Arlene Foster attended an event organised by UK LGBTQ+ news site Pink News, which took place in Belfast on Thursday night.
In the lead up to the event, Foster stated that "I want to genuinely reach out to our minority communities and show them the hand of friendship, recognising they have made Northern Ireland their home."
However, at the event, Foster stated that she wished for her opinions on same-sex marriage to be respected, and that just because she is against it, does not mean that she does not believe all people are equal.
"I wanted to use this platform to encourage meaningful engagement rather than megaphone diplomacy because as a mature democracy we must all enter into a new spirit of respectfulness and understand that we are not always going to agree – but we should always try to treat each other with good manners and grace.
For my part – and it will not be agreed with within this room tonight – I believe I can hold my principle position particularly in regards to the definition of marriage whilst respecting diversity across our society."
"I was born, on the principle that everyone is equal under law and equally subject to the law."
We're not entirely sure how to mentally line up the idea that everyone is equal, but not everyone is entitled to equal rights? Hopefully Foster can clarify that in the not-too-distant future.
Here is Foster's speech in full:
Clip via PinkNews