Belfast Telegraph

Jim Allister criticises DUP attendance at LGBT event in Stormont

A unionist politician has hit out at DUP leader Arlene Foster for her upcoming attendance at an LGBT community event.

Mrs Foster accepted an invite to the PinkNews reception at Stormont to be held on June 28.

It is the first time a DUP leader has agreed to take part in such an occasion.

The move is seen as an attempt by the DUP leader to improve her party's reputation with the LGBT community in Northern Ireland.

The DUP remains opposed to same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, with the party arguing that civil partnerships are already available and believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

TUV leader Jim Allister has questioned Mrs Foster's attendance at the event.

"Not only is the DUP leader going to represent her whole party at the LGBT lauding event on Thursday, but it now turns out one of her MLAs is a sponsor of the Pink News celebration," he said.

"Events can only be held in Stormont when sponsored by three MLAs. One of those lending her name to this event is DUP MLA Paula Bradley. So, the DUP's association with this event is greater than the leader attending as an invitee.

"The event is said to celebrate the contribution of the LGBT community to Northern Ireland.

"Does that include celebrating the LGBT orchestrated campaign against Ashers Bakery and the assault on the definition of marriage?  Maybe, Mrs Foster can tell us!"

The Belfast Telegraph has approached the DUP for comment.

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