Another year and the Annual Pride Parade took place in Belfast today with many gay people plus friends, family and supporters dandering around Belfast City Centre.
Alliance took part with Alliance Youth plus Employment & Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry MLA, Alderman John Blair, Cllr Conrad Dixon and I present.
With the same regularity another DUP representative again condemned gay people earlier this week, this time describing the people who take part in the Pride Parade as repugnant. Another DUP MLA previously used the words “immoral, offensive and obnoxious” concerning gay people whilst an ex-DUP MP previously used words “disgusting, loathed, physical disgust, nauseous, shamefully wicked, vile, an abomination” when describing what she felt about homosexuality.
The continual anti gay comments from DUP representatives proves without any doubt that the recent alleged conversion by Peter Robinson and the DUP to the concept of a Shared Future is perhaps merely hollow rhetoric.
Key economists have proven that acceptance of lesbian and gay people is key indicator demonstrating whether a society is in fact truly shared, open and welcoming to all and able to grow a strong economy.
Until Northern Ireland (and the DUP) can pass this litmus test concerning acceptance of gay people our economy will continue to struggle and people will continue to emigrate. Parochial politics must end if we are to develop a strong knowledge based economy where diversity is seen as a strength nor a threat and companies invest in NI not just because government is waving a massive cheque.