Pride parade is a chance for DUP to support the LGBT community

A letter from UUP member Michael Palmer:

Members of the UUP taking part in the 2019 Belfast Pride parade. The event is set to return on Saturday, July 30 this year, having been cancelled since 2020 due to Covid
Members of the UUP taking part in the 2019 Belfast Pride parade. The event is set to return on Saturday, July 30 this year, having been cancelled since 2020 due to Covid

Saturday, July 30, 2022 will see the return of the Belfast Pride parade since it was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With only weeks away to the restarting of the Belfast Pride parade, I believe this is an opportunity for the DUP to restart its relations with the LGBT community.

I am a very proud openly gay man and also a very proud unionist. These two aspects of who I am should be able to co-exist – and thankfully they do, as I am also a proud member of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Letter to the editor

For me though, attitudes towards LGBT people transcend party politics. It is something that I want to see unionism as a whole address and that includes the DUP.

I genuinely want to see those members and elected representatives of the DUP who are supportive of the LGBT community attending Belfast Pride. The DUP do not need to change any of its policies to achieve this and could simply allow attending Pride to be a conscience issue for its members.

Times have changed and so has politics. The DUP is not the same party that I remember growing up. Issues such as same-sex marriage have been resolved.

Pride nowadays for me is about taking a stand against homophobia, which we saw in its extreme recently in the terrorist attack against the LGBT community in Oslo. That these attacks still happen against the LGBT community confirms why Pride is still needed today.

I appeal to the DUP leadership to consider allowing its members who are supportive of the LGBT community to attend Belfast Pride. The future of unionism and the union hinges upon LGBT support.

Michael Palmer

LGBT UUP member