Three gay politicians on newly elected Belfast City council
'Imagine no longer the only gay in the village,' tweets Sinn Fein councillor
Published 26/05/2014 | 02:30
There will be three openly gay politicians – two lesbians and a gay man – on the new Belfast City Council.
The news was revealed in a celebratory tweet from Councillor Mary Ellen Campbell of Sinn Fein after her election.
"Aren't the electorate amazing... Imagine no longer the only gay in the village," the north Belfast woman posted after hearing she had been returned to the new super council.
The two newcomers are Julie Anne Corr of the Progressive Unionist Party and Jeff Dudgeon of the Ulster Unionists.
Mr Dudgeon, a former civil servant, was once the best known gay activist in Northern Ireland.
In 1982 he took a landmark case to the European Court of Human Rights which resulted in male homosexuality being legalised here for the first time.
He said last night that he did not know the two women councillors and would wait to meet them before deciding whether they could cooperate on particular issues.
Ms Corr, who represents Oldpark in north Belfast, is a board member of gay helpline Carafriend.
However, she stressed that she also had other priorities.
"Whilst I am open about my sexuality, I will not let it define me or allow anyone to fit me into a neat category," she said.
The PUP and Sinn Fein support same sex marriage, while the UUP allows a free vote on the issue.