I've just discovered the transcript of the proceedings in the Transitional Assembly yesterday, when members debated over the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, designed to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people from discrimination in the provision of goods and services.
All thirty-nine opponents to the regulations were either from the Ulster Unionist Party and the DUP. Those in favour included Sinn Fein, Alliance and SDLP. David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party was the only unionist to vote in support of the regulations.
The unionist argument was couched in Christian rhetoric. Caitriona Ruane of Sinn Fein noted the DUP's history of homophobia and accused the party of using homophobia for political gain.
Alex Maskey of Sinn Fein referred to Ian Paisley's various campaigns against gay rights: "For many of us, the history of the DUP — and perhaps, even more so, that of the Free Presbyterian Church — will lead many of us to believe that a strong homophobic strain runs through that strand of our society. Many of us believe that, and our belief is based on the experience of seeing many years of strong campaigns that were headed by the leader of the DUP, who is sitting on the Benches opposite."
Patricia Lewsley of the SDLP referred to the DUP as the "Discriminating as Usual Party."
Paul Berry, former-DUP golden boy, who last year was alleged to have engaged in a sex act with another male in a Belfast hotel, remained silent throughout the debate but voted with his former party-colleagues in opposing the introduction of the regulations.
This is an update of this post.