Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein slam DUP after councillors walked out on vote over Pride flag

The Pride flag
The Pride flag

A Sinn Fein councillor has slammed her DUP counterparts after claiming they walked out of a council meeting in an apparent protest at a proposal to fly a Pride Flag.

Causeway Coast and Glens councillor Cara McShane claimed that the DUP councillors left the chamber after Sinn Fein proposed the rainbow flag should be flown for one day to mark Pride.

She said that the DUP councillors refused to discuss the proposal and then walked out of the meeting.

A decision will now be taken on the issue at a later council meeting.

"This is further evidence of the DUP’s failure to embrace equality for all citizens," Councillor McShane said.

“Flying the Pride flag would have been an important act of solidarity and a symbol of moving forward.

“This decision showed little tolerance and was certainly not an example of a modern, progressive inclusive council committed to positive change."

SDLP councillor Margaret Anne McKilop seconded the motion on flying the flag and said the DUP's decision was "petty" and accused them of disrespecting the LGBT community.

“We will bring this proposal back and it will be heard. People in our community deserve to know that this council has their back regardless of their colour, creed, identity or sexual orientation," she said.

June is Pride month and a number of other council's in Northern Ireland have approved similar plans to show their solidarity with the LGBT community.

Last week it was revealed that the rainbow flag is set to fly at Belfast City Hall for the first time to mark Pride Day on August 3.

Approval was given despite a complaint that flying the flag would make City Hall less welcoming for Christians.

The Pride flag will fly over all three civic buildings of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council after a motion was passed at Monday night’s council meeting.

On Tuesday Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council backed a move to light up their council building in rainbow colours to show solidarity.

The DUP have been approached for a response to Councillor McShane's comments.

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