I welcome Ards and North Down Council's decision to back a request from the Rainbow Project to light up Ards Town Hall for LGBT Awareness Week.
A similar Alliance proposal had previously been defeated, but this time around the vote narrowly passed by 19 votes to 18.
I am glad that Ards & North Down Borough Council agreed on 19 December 2018 with the Rainbow Project request to light up Ards Town Hall in Rainbow colours for LGBT Awareness Week on 13 May 2019. I would like to thank all those who voted in favour of this positive move including my Alliance Party colleagues alongside Ulster Unionist, Green, Independent and the two DUP Councillors who broke ranks.
I am however very disappointed that proposal was only passed by one vote after a failed DUP amendment to instead use the colour pink as a 'compromise'. I personally found this to be an offensive suggestion and believe it shows a real lack of understanding of the LGBT community. Indeed one argument citied for the DUP amendment was that colour pink was used during the Holocaust.
This, I would argue demonstrates, that perhaps some in the DUP have a long journey to travel in relation to LGBT Awareness. I would therefore hope all members of the Council engage in events around LGBT Awareness Week as we seek to build a better understanding of the issues faced by all citizens in our Borough irrespective of sexual orientation or gender.