Belfast Telegraph

Belfast bookshop bans DUP representatives from new cafe over same sex marriage

Belfast Books has decided to ban the DUP.
Belfast Books has decided to ban the DUP.
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

A Belfast bookshop has banned all DUP representatives from a new cafe they are planning to build on their first floor.

Belfast Books on the York Road has said that DUP elected reps will not be welcome in the new cafe when it opens due to their stance on same-sex marriage.

Same-sex couples are allowed to wed in England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, but it is against the law in Northern Ireland.

DUP oppose same-sex marriage and used a petition of concern to stop it being passed in the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2015.

Belfast Books are hoping to raise £15k through a crowdfunding campaign to open the cafe.

It is not the first time the store has taken a stand, they stopped donating to and purchasing books from Oxfam earlier this year and also refuse to accept Bank of England notes.

In a statement Managing Director John Junk explained the reasons behind the decision.

“I’ve had a good working relation with some local DUP elected representatives and grassroots members of the party, and work alongside them on various community forums - but the party’s stance on equal marriage doesn’t sit well with us, so their elected representatives will be banned from the cafe we're planning if we raise the money in our crowdfunder to open it," Mr Junk said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, their elected representatives won’t be banned from the bookshop as such a ban would have little effect. I think I'm right in saying that in over 4 years of us being open, not one of their elected representatives have darkened our door outside of election time.”

The DUP has been contacted for comment.

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