DUP fields first openly gay council candidate
A DUP woman standing in the upcoming council elections is the party's first ever openly gay politician.
Alison Bennington is a DUP candidate for the Glengormley Urban area of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Ms Bennington told the Irish News: "I am delighted to have been selected as a DUP council candidate. I am putting myself before the electorate based on what I can deliver for them as a councillor working alongside a strong team of colleagues, not based on my sexual orientation.
"I regard my private and family life as a matter for myself in the same way as everyone else."
The move by the DUP is considered a significant step in a bid to reach out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Northern Ireland.
The party has been considered as hostile towards the LGBT community in the past.
The DUP remains opposed to same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland - the only part of the UK where it remains outlawed.