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Anti-LGBT DUP run openly gay candidate for Northern Ireland elections

Patrick Kelleher April 19, 2019
Anti-LGBT DUP run openly gay candidate for Northern Ireland elections

Alison Bennington, the DUP's first gay candidate (SCOPE Consultancy)

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland, which has opposed same-sex marriage in the country, is running an openly gay candidate for council elections.

Alison Bennington is running for the DUP in the Glengormley Urban area of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, according to The Irish News.

If Bennington is elected, she will be the DUP’s first ever openly gay elected representative.

DUP’s first gay candidate Alison Bennington is an ‘excellent candidate’

Bennington said she is “delighted” to have been selected to run for council elections as a DUP candidate.

“I am putting myself before the electorate based on what I can deliver for them as a councillor working alongside a strong team of colleagues, not based on my sexual orientation,” she said.

“I regard my private and family life as a matter for myself in the same way as everyone else.”

“I am putting myself before the electorate based on what I can deliver for them as a councillor working alongside a strong team of colleagues, not based on my sexual orientation.”

– Openly gay DUP candidate Alison Bennington

Meanwhile, a DUP spokesman said that Bennington is “an excellent candidate and will make an excellent representative for the people of Glengormley.”

She was also in attendance yesterday at the DUP’s local government election manifesto launch in Belfast.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said in a speech at the event that their vision for Northern Ireland is one where “we value and cherish people from every background.”

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Leader Arlene Foster (Jack Taylor/Getty)

The DUP is well-known for its anti-LGBT+ stance

The DUP has become well known across the UK for its anti-LGBT+ stance.

In the late 1970s, former leader Ian Paisley led the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign which argued against the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Current DUP leader Arlene Foster is staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage. Despite this, last year she became the first DUP leader to attend an LGBT+ event when she delivered a speech at a PinkNews reception in Stormont.

Speaking at the event, Foster said: “Just because we disagree on marriage does not mean that I don’t value the LGBT community.

“It is not a zero-sum game. All I ask in return is that my, and our views, are also respected if not agreed with.”

Foster continued: “I wanted to acknowledge the contribution of the LGBT community in Northern Ireland and to recognise the reality of diversity among our citizens.

“I wanted to recognise that some of our brightest and best in this country are part of the LGBT community.

“I wanted to send a clear message from this event, that we are all someone’s child and we are all a valued part of this wonderful place we call home.”

More: alison bennington, anti lgbt, Arlene Foster, first gay candidate, Northern Ireland, the dup

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