The new leader of the largest political party in Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, has said that her party “very firmly” believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Foster will become Northern Ireland’s First Minister in January, after she was backed to become the leader of the DUP by the party’s MPs and Assembly members.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said civil partnerships are the way that same-sex relationships are recognised in Northern Ireland.
The Stormont Assembly in Belfast has consistently rejected same-sex marriage – voting on the issue five times since 2012.
Foster was interviewed by the Today programme’s Mishal Husain about where she stood on social issues, “particularly on gay marriage”.
She replied that, “the style may change but the fundamentals of the DUP remain the same and that’s certainly one of the issues that we are very clear about”.
The new DUP leader said, “we very firmly believe that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman and that should remain the same”.
The DUP is the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, with 38 MLAs.
Arlene Foster has represented Fermanagh and South Tyrone for more than ten years.