Lo calls for publication of Sexual Orientation Strategy

Alliance MLA Anna Lo has called on the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to publish the long promised sexual orientation Strategy. Her comments come on the International Day Against Homophobia on Thursday 17th May. It is also the 30th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland.

Anna Lo MLA said: “While the 30th anniversary of the decriminalising of homosexuality is something to commemorated, there are however still some issues that remain to be solved for those who are gay. Issues around as 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 but so far we have seen very little from them. They have kept pushing back the timescale for the consultation and the publication of the strategy. In 2008, they said it would be published later that year, then in the near future, but nothing happened. In 2010 they published the draft Cohesion, Sharing and Integration Strategy, they promised that they would publish said strategy in 2012, but more recently they say it will be 2013.

“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. How can we build a society that is based on fairness when this ban is in place?


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