Chris Lyttle MLA said: “While I welcome the progress on agreeing a Sexual Orientation Strategy, it is long overdue.
“OFMDFM have continued to drag their feet on this issue. In 2010, in the ‘Cohesion, Sharing and Integration’ consultation, they outlined their commitment to such a Sexual Orientation Strategy, yet nothing came forward. In June 2013, in their ‘Together: Building a United Community’ document, they claimed that a strategy would be published by the end of 2013, so it is disappointing that they have only announced this consultation in March 2014.
“Issues of homophobia and hate crimes are sadly still problems in our society. We must send out a clear message that this behaviour is not acceptable. There is much work to be done to promote equality and end discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
“The Alliance Party has brought this issue to the Assembly several times but I was disappointed that the DUP voted against an Alliance motion in December despite their party leader Peter Robinson committing to publish such a strategy.”