He went against his own party’s anti-LGBT line
A Northern Ireland town hall is set to be lit up in rainbow colors to mark all future Prides.
And it’s all thanks to a single Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councilor.
A motion on the issue, which relates to Ards Town Hall, was recommended for approval at a committee meeting of Ards and North Down Borough Council.
The Northern Irish party has a history of opposing LGBT equality. However, councilor Tom Smith voted in favor of the motion, going against five of his party colleagues.
Thanks to his vote, the motion will now go before the main council meeting for full approval.
The next council meeting will take place on 26 September.
Ards Town Hall went rainbow for Orlando
Ards Town Hall has gone rainbow before on several occasions.
An example was the dramatic aftermath of Orlando’s Pulse shooting in 2016. The building was lit up in rainbow colors to pay tribute to the victims.
‘[…] There’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue,’ Gavin Walker told The Belfast Telegraph.
Walker and Andrew Muir are the two Alliance Party councilors who proposed the motion.
Walker also said they are delighted ‘though that still comes against objections from five of the six DUP members on the corporate affairs committee.’
‘We’ll wait and see if Councilor Smith can have any influence on his DUP colleagues in making sure this motion is passed as it should be.’
A powerful message of acceptance
Walker furthermore added: ‘As the father of a gay man, I know how much value parents place on creating an environment where our children can feel valued and accepted at a time when they need support in understanding their own minds and bodies.’
‘It might seem trivial to place store on the physical act of lighting council buildings in rainbow colors on Pride day,’ he continued.
‘But the message of acceptance that will send out to our LGBT community, their family and their friends will be very powerful.’
LGBT rights in Northern Ireland
When it comes to LGBT rights, Northern Ireland lags behind England, Scotland and Wales.
While civil partnerships and joint and stepchild adoption are legal, same-sex marriage is not.
The country also differs from the neighboring Republic of Ireland, which approved same-sex marriage in 2015.
by Stefania Sarrubba
Source – Gay Star News