A Free Presbyterian minister in Northern Ireland has criticised the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for running an “out and out lesbian” in the local elections.

In a video obtained by the BBC, Reverend John Greer of the Free Presbyterian Church in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, slammed the anti-LGBT+ party’s decision to run lesbian candidate Alison Bennington.

Last Friday, Bennington made history when she was elected to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council in Northern Ireland, making her the DUP’s first openly LGBT+ elected representative.

Rev John Greer said sodomy is ‘the big agenda’

In the sermon—which Greer reportedly delivered on April 21—he said that things that were “once reprobated are now acceptable.”

“That’s what the world can do,” Greer continued. “It can influence the child of God into thinking and into believing that these things are no longer wrong, such as sodomy.”

“That’s the big agenda today: let’s change the thinking of the people into accepting that sodomy is a lifestyle that people are quite entitled to follow. Now we have the DUP putting up their candidate who is an out and out lesbian.

“That’s the type of thing that’s going on in our own little land. And there we have before our very eyes what God has to say about the danger of an ungodly world, a corrupt world, influencing even the thinking of people who should know better.”

DUP candidate Alison Bennington was elected with 856 first preference votes

Bennington was elected on Friday after receiving 856 first preference votes and was elected on the sixth count under the council’s preferential voting system.

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The crowd erupted with cheers as it was announced that she had won a council seat.

“That’s the big agenda today: let’s change the thinking of the people into accepting that sodomy is a lifestyle that people are quite entitled to follow.”

– Free Presbyterian minister John Greer

She said she was “delighted” to have been selected to run for the local election.

“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 told The Irish News on April 18.

Alison Bennington smiling
Alison Bennington is the DUP’s first lesbian candidate. (Facebook)

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

The DUP said she was an ‘excellent candidate’

A DUP spokesperson called her an “excellent candidate” who would make for “an excellent representative.”

“The party selects candidates on the basis of merit and we believe in equality of opportunity,” he added.

However, not everybody in the anti-LGBT+ DUP was happy. Northern Ireland’s former health minister Jim Wells told media ahead of the election that her candidacy “fundamentally undermines the values and traditions of the party.”

He also said that the party’s late founder Ian Paisley would be “aghast” at the news.

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