Extract from the Belfast Pride Focus (www.allianceparty.org)
Alliance deputy leader, Naomi Long MLA has demanded that the Office of the First Minster and Deputy First Minister break the logjam on funding for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gendered sector.
Naomi said “Since devolution was restored last year, there has been a ‘complete freeze’ on issues affecting the LGBT sector, looked after by the First and deputy Fist Minister. The goverment’s Sexual Orientation Strategy has been put into deep freeze and funding slashed.
“This is a real blow to voluntary groups carrying out vital work in the gay community, especially in rural areas. Already stretched counselling and support services are facing deepening financial crisis, leaving many very vulnerable people without a safety net.
“The DUP clearly have serious issues to address regarding their attitude to the LGBT community, but Sinn Fein cannot duck their own responsibilities here either. They designed a system which allows the DUP to veto work supported by parties which represent 70% of the people in Northern Ireland.
“Sinn Fein must put their money where their mouth iSeand put this issue near the top of their agenda in their current talks.
Alliance wants to see OFMDFM act to ensure that every member of our community is treated with dignity regardless of their sexual orientation.”
1. The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006
2. The Alliance Party