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Creationism, LGBT discrimination and blocking abortion: Just what exactly do the DUP stand for?

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When Theresa May called an election she hoped to increase the Conservative majority, not see it reduced. Now if she wishes to form a government she must make up the numbers by creating a coalition, or an alliance of sorts, with at least one other party. 

The party she's chosen is the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Since this news was announced on Friday, people all over the UK have been asking questions about what this small party from Northern Ireland is all about.

What do they stand for? What are their values and their views?

It'll probably be easier to explain what they don't stand for.

They don't stand for reducing or tackling climate change.

No mention of climate change was made in their manifesto, and they previously appointed a climate change denier as their Environment Secretary.

They don't stand for women being allowed autonomy of their own bodies.

The DUP are staunch opponents of abortion and maintain it should be banned. They have blocked all attempts at extending the law in Northern Ireland which would allow women who become pregnant through rape to have an abortion.

Women in Northern Ireland who have abortions can be sent to prison, and the sentence for a person carrying out 'unlawful' abortions is life in prison. Just this year a woman was prosecuted for taking abortion pills after she was reported to police by her GP.

Northern Ireland's abortion laws are so restrictive the United Nations Human Rights Committee said they are "concerned" and urged an amendment in legislation was needed "as a matter of priority."

DUP 's Arlene Foster has previously said: “I would not want abortion to be as freely available here as it is in England.”

They don't stand for the LGBT community.

They backed the introduction of a ‘conscience clause’ which would, among other things, allow employers to refuse LGBT people jobs based on their sexuality or gender.

One DUP member once told children homosexuality is “an abomination”, and the son of the party's founder said he was “repulsed” by lesbians and gays.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK which doesn't have same sex marriage. This is because the DUP has consistently blocked attempts to introduce it.

A few other things to note about the DUP.

The DUP has historical links to terrorist groups, they worked with Ulster Volunteer Force to smuggle dangerous arms into the UK, and former Leader Peter Robinson was a part of the terror group Ulster Resistance. While these links are merely historical they're interesting to note given that throughout their campaign, Jeremy Corbyn was repeatedly criticised by The Tories who called him a 'terrorist sympathiser' for his past links to the republican movement in Northern Ireland.

Other truly bizarre things include one DUP member claiming children have been “corrupted by the teaching of evolution." To counter act the "peddled lie" of evolution he's calling for the teaching of creationism in all Northern Ireland schools. To add to this, many DUP members are also members of the Caleb Foundation which promotes creationism and believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

There's no doubt the Conservative-DUP alliance is bad

In the run up to the General Election Theresa May warned voters about a coalition of chaos posed by Labour, Lib Dem's and the SNP. Well you don't have to worry about that anymore because she's created her very own version, and there might be a lot more than chaos on the agenda.

So brace yourself, as the DUP and Theresa May led government are clearly for the few not the many and it's going to be a very bumpy ride.

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