Stephen Farry stated: “It is both wrong and most disrespectful for certain politicians to make statements describing homosexual behaviour as ‘an abomination’, denying the natural basis of different sexual preferences, and arguing with people’s right to be who they truly are.
“But there is a wider price that will potentially be paid by Northern Ireland if retain an image of intolerance, especially on matters relating to human sexuality.
“There is a considerable body of evidence that those regions and cities in the world that are the most respectful of difference are also those that are more creative, productive and wealthy. The explanation is simple. Open societies are able to maintain and attract the broadest range of skilled people, and to offer a good quality of life.
“Northern Ireland is supposed to be open for business, and in particular new investors. If the reality is to match the rhetoric, then it is important that politicians refrain from inflammatory language, and furthermore actually promote an agenda of equality.”