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Gay rights group wants more talks


UUP leader Tom Elliott

UUP leader Tom Elliott

UUP leader Tom Elliott

A gay rights group which held a ground-breaking meeting with Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott hopes it will act as a launch pad for further talks with politicians.

President of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association, PA Mag Lochlainn, asked for the meeting after the UUP leader was criticised for saying he would never attend a gay rights march.

The comment came during his campaign for the party leadership last year when Mr Elliott also said he would not attend a GAA match, sparking widespread criticism.

Mr Elliott had already held what he described as a positive meeting with the GAA and after his meeting with the gay rights group he spoke out against all forms of discrimination.

"The Ulster Unionist Party believes that every person must be able to live as full and active members of our community without discrimination, or fear of discrimination," he said.

"All political parties in Northern Ireland have voiced their support for a shared future.

"Friday's meeting provided a useful opportunity to listen to some of the ongoing difficulties that members of the gay community face in Northern Ireland.

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"The Ulster Unionist Party will continue to work towards building a vibrant, modern and pluralist Northern Ireland within the UK."

Mr Mag Lochlainn said: "We were very encouraged by this meeting with the UUP and hope this will become a regular occurrence.

"The meeting was very practical and business-like. We are now looking for a similar meeting with each of the other NI political parties."

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