remarks by Councillor Mills (right), twice deputy mayor of Ballymema,
were first published this week in the Ballymena Guardian
newspaper and have caused outrage in Belfast as LGBT delegates gathered
for a UNISON conference.
remarks are depressingly typical of DUP discourse,” the Rainbow Project said
in a statement. “It would appear that an adherence to homophobic principles
is demanded of recruits to that party, such is the verbal hate which
emanates from many of its representatives.”
demand that the DUP clarify its position on both racism and homophobia, as
its public representatives are often to be found delivering barely
articulate, pseudo-religious diatribes which run contrary to one of their
election pledges, which states that the party is committed to “Equality for
all, including equality of funding for all”.”
statement reminded the DUP of a recent court case where Newtonabbey DUP
councillor Arthur Templeton was fined £250 with £4,000 court costs after
being found guilty of harassing a gay colleague.
statement goes on to list a number of other homophobic incidents perpetrated
by the DUP.
lesbian and gay community was afforded a civic reception in City Hall in
Belfast last year, certain DUP councillors attempted to block it and
afterwards grumbled about the amount of wine consumed. When lesbians and
gay men laid a wreath at the Cenotaph to remember the gay war dead,
including those murdered in Nazi death camps, they were ridiculed by the
lesbians and gay men held Pride parades, the predictable homophobic comments
followed. When the case was made for civic partnerships for same-sex
couples, a DUP member of the policing board voiced appalling homophobia,
while others quoted scripture and retreated into red-faced apoplexy.
DUP’s former darling, Paul Berry, has sought to protect himself from his
colleagues through court injunction. No doubt, Mr Berry is fully aware of
how his alleged dalliance with another male might be dealt with by the inner
the lesbian and gay community go, DUP representatives are never far behind.
appear that the politics of the DUP is contaminated with a particular brand
of religious fundamentalism, which is used by its adherents as a cloak to
justify their vile homophobia.
want to know if disciplinary action will be taken against Councillor Mills
and if the DUP is aware of how his offensive comments may be challenged
through the utilisation of hate crime legislation,” the statement concluded.
Murphy, a councillor from Manchester in England and a delegate at the UNISON
LGBT conference, told the Press Association that if such comments
were made in Manchester, the person would be stripped of all powers.
Trade Union Conference for Gay Members Breaks New Ground.
UNISON open their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender National Conference
here this afternoon, a little bit of trade union history will be made.
(UK Gay News, November 18)