Dickson – Six years on and still no progress by OFMDFM to publish Sexual Orientation Strategy

Alliance Chief Whip Stewart Dickson has said that after six years, OFMDFM are still no closer to the publication of a Sexual Orientation Strategy. Mr Dickson raised this issue in the Assembly during OFDMFM Question Time to Junior Minister Jonathan Bell, who was not able to provide an answer as to when they would be producing this strategy.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “Issues around homophobia, hate crime and access to services are still problems in our society to varying extents.

“The First and deputy First Ministers have been promising us a sexual orientation strategy to combat these issues since 2007, but six years on we have seen very little from them. When I highlighted this failure, Junior Minister Jonathan Bell was not able to give an answer as to when this document will be published. We have not even seen a consultation exercise on this issue. Several other MLAs followed up on my question and were all equally stonewalled.

“OFMDFM would be better in being honest in saying that they don’t want to have this strategy produced.

“There are other issues that our Executive can do to take a lead and show there is absolutely no justification for any discrimination against those who are gay. For example, the Health Minister can end the ban on gay men donating blood.”


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