Majority of councillors back motion that could see civic centre lit up for Pride Day

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has supported a motion that could lead to the Island Civic Centre in Lisburn being lit up in rainbow colours for Pride Day each August.

The Island Civic Centre in Lisburn.
The Island Civic Centre in Lisburn.

At their meeting on Tuesday evening, a majority of councillors backed the motion from Alliance councillor Aaron McIntyre, which “acknowledges the positive contribution that diversity brings to our communities and accordingly affirms that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people living, working or visiting our council area should be accepted and valued as equal citizens as part of a safe, welcoming and inclusive society.”

It also asked that council officers bring back a report on the possibility of lighting up the civic centre in rainbow colours to coincide with Pride Day in August each year.

Twenty councillors voted for the motion, with 13 DUP members voting against.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr McIntyre, who represents the Downshire East DEA, said: “I welcome the support from councillors from the UUP, SDLP, Green Party, SInn Féin and Alliance to let lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who live, work or visit Lisburn and Castlereagh know that they are a valued part of our community. I am disappointed the DUP voted against this reasonable motion. Diversity is something to be celebrated as it enriches our society.”

He added: “Lighting the civic centre in rainbow colours on Pride Day in August will be the public statement of this inclusive approach to the LGBT community.”

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has slammed DUP councillors in Causeway Coast and Glens, accusing them of walking out of a meeting at which it was proposed the council fly the rainbow flag to mark Pride.

Councillor Cara McShane said: “At last night’s full meeting of the council, Sinn Féin proposed that the rainbow flag should fly for one day to mark Pride.

“It’s disappointing that DUP councillors refused to discuss the proposal and then walked out of the meeting. This is further evidence of the DUP’s failure to embrace equality for all citizens."

The News Letter has contacted the DUP for comment.