14 December 2006 Edition
Equality: No half way house
DUP using homophobia for political gain
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights, Caitriona Ruane commenting on the debate in the Assembly on Monday on the rights of people to protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation has said that everyone should have the same rights and legal protections, there is no half way house – you cannot have equality for some.
“Ian Paisley Senior, and Martin McGuinness, as FM/DFM Designate and Arlene and I as human rights and Equality spokespersons should all be sitting down together and working out how do we put together a comprehensive programme across the board for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community. We should be talking about how to protect the people who are suffering homophobic attacks, and there has been an increase of 175% of reported attacks”, Ruane said.
“Everyone should have the same rights and legal protections, there is no half way house – you cannot have equality for some.
“The DUP is using homophobia for political gain, it is attempting to whip up homophobic sentiment that leads to discrimination and violence”, said the South Down MLA.
“This is serious stuff – while the DUP wring their hands and say – of course we are for law and order and we abhor any crime against anyone and people should go to the police – what they fail to do is to take responsibility for the actions that come from their words. By failing to provide leadership they are part of setting the context for the attack on the young man in a club, or park”, she said.