The DUP Lord Mayor has ‘damaged’ relationships with the LGBT community, the Alliance Party’s Micky Murray has said, after Councillor Brian Kingston felt the need to clarify his involvement with the city’s popular Belfast Pride festival.
Hitting out at Belfast’s First Citizen, the chair of the Alliance Party’s LGBT group said he found his comments ‘odd’ and ‘disappointing’, after what was a fantastic event to kick-start the festival last Friday night.
Micky Murray said: “I’m at a loss for words. Why the Lord Mayor felt the need to clarify his participation in such a way is quite simply baffling.
“I attended the Belfast Pride Awards and Festival Launch on Friday night and recognised the willing participation of Councillor Kingston in welcoming everyone to the event, before handing over the Deputy Lord Mayor to officially launch the festival.
“In Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was front and centre when it came to celebrating Vancouver Pride, yet in Belfast we only witness the same old rhetoric from the DUP on this issue. As a young LGBT man living in Northern Ireland it is extremely disappointing to feel disowned by our political leadership.”
The controversial comments come as a 10-day programme of events get underway, featuring the popular Amnesty International lecture – with guest speaker Ruth Davidson – and the annual parade through Belfast City Centre this Saturday.
Micky added: “As always, Belfast Pride attracts large numbers – both at its many events and lining the parade route. I’m delighted to again be leading the Alliance group in the march and would encourage as many people as possible to come along and join in everything that’s on offer.
“Despite what the DUP might hope for, the spirit, welcoming and inclusive nature of many across Belfast and Northern Ireland will make this another successful year for Pride.”