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Actor Conleth Kane and DUP councillor in Ashers bakery spat

By David Young

Published 04/02/2016

Conleth Kane
Conleth Kane
Carla Lockhart

Actor and singer Conleth Kane has used his social media platforms to strongly criticise DUP councillor Carla Lockhart over her party's stance on same-sex marriage.

The Lurgan actor linked to a Twitter post from the former Mayor of Craigavon in which she backed Ashers bakery in its legal battle after it was found to have discriminated against a gay customer.

The gay actor rudely wrote: "Oh shut up Carla. Seriously."

He then took to Facebook, where Mr Kane (31) wrote: "She's a member of the DUP party who won't let equal marriage go through in Northern Ireland.

"Only wants to be part of Britain when it suits them. She's now supporting the appeal for Ashers Bakery and we are now debating openly on Twitter.

"She's not smart enough to answer back though.

"This silly little girl and her loathsome party will NEVER make me feel like a second class citizen in my home country."

Mr Kane - who has just completed a stint in the Snow White panto in Belfast's Grand Opera House - added: "I don't think Little Miss DUP realises she's up against someone who has no issue with telling her how it is."

Many of Mr Kane's friends then joined the discussion, with several making unpleasant and gratuitously offensive remarks about Ms Lockhart's physical appearance.

However the actor - who now lives in London - made some effort to discourage comments about her appearance. Mr Kane was contacted for a comment last night, but had not responded at the time of going to press.

Last night, Ms Lockhart told the Belfast Telegraph: "In public life we must expect people to push back - though I find social media lends itself to abuse.

"People post comments they would never say to your face.

"This tweet is an example of the sort of intolerance that's growing in our society.

"I want Northern Ireland to be a place where people of all faiths and none can agree to disagree but show respect for each other.

"The case against Ashers is an enormous waste of public money.

"I fully support the McArthur family - and I should be entitled to express my opinion without facing rude and abusive comments."

Last May, the West End stage star backed same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, after receiving thousands of messages of support when he changed his Facebook status to 'gay'.

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