Northern Ireland is missing out on the pink pound as gay people avoid it as a holiday destination due to its poor reputation on gay rights, according to a leading campaigner.
Journalist Patrick Strudwick , who will deliver the Amnesty International Belfast Pride Lecture on Monday, helped expose the activities of therapists such as Dr Paul Miller.
In 2008, former Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson claimed the psychiatrist, who was working as her adviser at Stormont, could “help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in”.
The award-winning Gay Times journalist said: “Sadly, Northern Ireland has a reputation as still being in the Dark Ages when it comes to gay rights.
“Whether it be the negative and worsening attitudes recently exposed by the Equality Commission survey, or political opposition to equal marriage rights, or the continuing ministerial ban on gay people giving blood, Northern Ireland is not seen as a happy destination for gay people looking for a care-free weekend break.
“Northern Ireland is missing out on the pink pound because gay people don’t want to visit.”