Belfast Telegraph

Equality for gays will take two years

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have spelt out their department's plans for a gay equality strategy.

But MLAs have been told the document is unlikely to be published before 2012.

That timetable — revealed in Stormont yesterday by DUP junior minister Robin Newton — was condemned by Sinn Fein.

Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness had earlier stated that they will “seek to work collaboratively across government and with the wider public sector, to develop a Sexual Orientation Equality Strategy”.

The pledge was made by the First and Deputy First Ministers in a joint Assembly written answer. Mr Newton later told MLAs that a “realistic” timescale for publication was “no earlier than 2012”.

Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson accused the DUP of “stalling” on the strategy. She had challenged Mr Newton in the Assembly over whether he “or the First Minister would be willing to attend a gay pride event”. Ms Anderson did not receive a reply.

Senior DUP politicians have controversially denounced homosexuality in recent years.

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