Confirmation of sexual orientation strategy welcomed

Green Party leader Steven Agnew MLA has welcomed that Communities Minister Paul Givan has confirmed that there will be a sexual orientation strategy at today’s (Thursday, 30 June 2016) Communities committee meeting.

Steven Agnew MLA said,

“A number of people within the LGBTQ community have expressed to me their concern that a politician, who proposed legalised discrimination based on sexual orientation, has been given responsibility for equality.

“Therefore I welcome that there is to be a sexual orientation strategy for Northern Ireland. It is long overdue.

“In the last Assembly the First and Deputy First Minister promised a sexual orientation strategy but didn’t deliver. I hope this Minister will live up to his commitment.

“The Minister said that he doesn’t ask people to endorse the world view that he has and that we need to ‘make space’ and ‘reasonable accommodation’ for those that are different.

“I hope that means that he will not stand in the way of bringing about equality for the LGBTQ community. This goes beyond being ‘different’. The sexual orientation strategy is fundamental to addressing the inequalities faced on a daily basis by family and friends in our community.

“The Minister has said that just because someone has a past doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a future.

“While the Minister’s past record does not bode well for the LGBTQ community, if the Minister delivers where others have failed I will be first to give him credit.”

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