The Democratic Unionist Party are the largest Unionist party in Northern Ireland and have attracted much criticism due to the party's outrages statements. The party was founded in 1971 by the infamous religious bigot Ian Paisley as a way to practice his hatred against Catholics and Homosexuals. In 2008, the party was taken over by Peter Robinson, a well-known fellow bigot and corrupt official like Paisley who has received attention for instances including theft from inside his party and inside his party.
Both these former leaders of the DUP made pacts with the Ulster Defence Association in the 1980s, a terrorist organization that sought to immobilize the human rights of Nationalist citizens and other groups that were against the ideology of Northern Irish loyalism.
Throughout the years, the party has been noted in particular for their hatred towards homosexuals. Notable instances of this include the following:
- In the early 1970s, Paisley launched the Save Ulster From Sodomy Campaign and stated that homosexuality was the biggest threat towards Northern Ireland, which came at the height of The Northern Ireland Troubles. The campaign sought to keep homosexual activity illegal after it had been decriminalized in England (in 1967), Wales (in 1967) and Scotland (in 1980). Ultimately the campaign was unsuccessful and homosexuality was decriminalized in Northern Ireland following the European Court of Human Rights case which in 1982.
- After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, DUP Councillor Maurice Mills blamed the tragedy on gays because of a Gay pride event in New Orleans just days before.
- The DUP has proved to have a large number of incompetent MPs in their party, two of their members, Edwin Poots and Jim Wells were forced to resign from their positions as health minister after they said that they were against the idea of the LGBT community donating blood as they might have AIDS. Mr. Wells also made the statement that children with same-sex parents are more likely to be abused, this forced his resignation within hours of the statement. He also called gay pride events "repugnant"
- In 2015, the DUP were defeated during a debate to legalize gay marriage in the Northern Ireland assembly, they filed a petition of concern which deprived the LGBT community of their basic civil rights. This was even met with the disgust of many loyalists.
Notable people who have criticized the organization include:
- US President Barack Obama
- US President George W. Bush
- US President Bill Clinton
- Prime Minister David Cameron
- Prime Minister Gordon Brown
- Prime Minister Tony Blair
- Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn
- Labour Leader Ed Miliband
- Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
- Margaret Thatcher was a staunch antagonist to the party due to their sectarianism crimes during her tenure as prime minister.
- Elton John
- Comedian George Carlin
The Democratic Unionist party are ultimately the only reason why Northern Ireland is seen as the most backward region of the United Kingdom, many of the members of the party have been involved in militant paramilitary organizations during the Northern Ireland troubles. Former leader Peter Robinson even helped to establish the Ulster Resistance.
Since their establishment, the party has been responsible for many hate crimes including the imprisonment of Catholic citizens for being a suspected member of the Irish Republican Army without any firm evidence. They also played a major role in Loyalists having predominantly more power than Irish Nationalists when they had less support.
Their infamous sign "Vote DUP, Smash Sinn Fein" could be considered a hate crime and sectarianism against people of an Irish nationalist background.
The party, Ian Paisley in particular, were the main reason why The Troubles went for a total of 29 years. This lead to the deaths of approximately 4,000 people.