- Self ID Laws
- LGBTQ+ and Education
- Conversion Therapy
Obviously, during 1hr 30min+ discussion, there were sidetracks; the main one being over political parties and LGBTQ+ rights to which Paul Bradley, deputy leader of the DUP, said that in response to a question from Mr O’Doherty about the DUP and its history of negativity on LGBTQ+ issues,
“I’m not going to defend some of the things that have been said over the years, because they have been absolutely atrocious. They’ve been shocking, so they have.
“I certainly couldn’t stand by many of those comments – in fact, all of those comments.
“Because I know that the hurt they have caused people and I know that fed into the hatred some people have had to endure in their life, and I think that’s absolutely wrong.
“I think the vast majority of those people that made those comments are no longer there, and the ones that are there have said that they have learned their lessons, that their language at times has not been right.
“It’s something I’ve brought up on numerous occasions with my own party because I think not sometimes, all the time, our language very much that we use as elected representatives has an impact in wider society.
“I can certainly say I apologise for what others have said and done in the past because I do think that there has been some very hurtful comments and some language that really should not have been used.”
(A full transcript can be found in the Newsletter link which is at the end of this article)
Now, this was a welcome response, however, it was then followed by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson speaking on Sunday, July 5th 2021|:
Mr Donaldson acknowledged past comments by members of the party had been “hurtful” to LGBT people here, before adding it was “not just in the case of the DUP”.
While the DUP leader said it is right “that we say sorry and acknowledge hurt”, Mr Donaldson went on to add: “Equally in time, I hope others will be able to acknowledge that they have caused hurt, for example to people from a strongly held faith perspective.”
This is the politician two shoe shuffle, give on one hand and then take away by blaming it all on someone else.
Much as Paul Bradly may wish, and indeed believes, that the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) is making strives to reform, it would seem that its current leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, has more in keeping with the leader he replaced Edwin Poots, or if you go back further Mrs Iris Robinson, a previous MLA and wife of the then First Minister ‘Peter Robinson’, and ‘her’ psychologist who claimed that he could cure gays (gay conversion therapy).
Whilst I have concnetrated on the DUP during this virtual meeting, the other participants were very clear in the answers and supportive. Some of the phrases which I have written down are:
- Even though things have changed, there is ‘always a need to remain alert’.
- If you ‘Stop pushing forward, then we will move back’
- Even though we have had ‘Immense change, the lesson is we have to keep gong’
- ‘Always think about those young people in turmoil’
- ‘A Safe Place For All Of Our People’
- Belfast Telegraph – Iris Robinson slammed for offering gay ‘cure’
- Pink News – DUP politician tipped to succeed Arlene Foster has a long history of opposing LGBT+ rights
- Irish Times – The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson was accused of homophobia by Sinn Féin
- AcomsDave – The Conversion Therapy Saga
- DUP deputy’s entire remarks to LGBTQIA+ gathering