Newton Emerson: DUP must offer more than tribalistic flag-waving

Unionism must rediscover respect for individualism rather than forcing its beliefs on others

The DUP, led by Arlene Foster, have long stood by their beliefs by blocking same-sex marriage and abortion legislation in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The DUP, led by Arlene Foster, have long stood by their beliefs by blocking same-sex marriage and abortion legislation in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Jeffrey Dudgeon, now an Ulster Unionist Party councillor in Belfast, brought the 1981 case to the European Court of Human Rights that forced the British government to decriminalise homosexuality in Northern Ireland.

He fought a seven-year campaign to do so, enduring official hostility and with no political support. His case set the precedent that later brought decriminalisation to the Republic.

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