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DUP must stop resisting gay rights

14 October, 2013 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin Assembly Chief Whip Caitriona Ruane has said that the DUP must do more to bring about the sexual orientation strategy after the First Minister Peter Robinson and Junior Minister Jonathan Bell sidestepped the issue during question time today.

 Ms. Ruane stated,

“I asked the First Minister today during Question Time in the Assembly for an update on the sexual orientation strategy yet the answer I got was less than satisfactory.

 “In terms of equality it is important that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have the same rights as everyone else yet this is being denied day and daily by the failure not to bring a strategy forward.

“In order to do so, a sexual orientation strategy was set out yet the DUP have dragged their feet in bringing about a comprehensive document that we can work to bring about equality.

 “In a question on the 18th June 2012 Junior Minister Bell stated that the strategy would have been published with full consultation by the end of 2012 yet nearly a year later we still have no sign of it.

“I would like the DUP to explain why they are resisting gay rights as seen with the ban on gay men donating blood although the medical evidence has shown that this blood is screened and as safe as blood donated by other groups.

“The DUP have also opposed marriage equality and gay adoption which is totally against the principle of equality.

“I am now calling for the DUP to engage with the rest of the parties in order to have the Sexual Orientation Strategy published as soon as possible that will bring about equality for everyone.” 

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