Northern Ireland news

DUP deputy leader Paula Bradley to attend LGBT event

DUP deputy leader Paula Bradley is to take part in a LGBT event. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Marie Louise McConville

DUP deputy leader Paula Bradley is to attend an LGBT event.

The North Belfast assembly member will join other Stormont party leaders at PinkNews' Virtual Summer Reception on Thursday for a live panel discussion on LGBT issues.

The other politicians taking part include Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, UUP leader Doug Beattie, Alliance leader Naomi Long and Green Party deputy leader Mal O'Hara.

The virtual event is being held in partnership with global financial services business Citi and LGBT charity The Rainbow Project.

In April, Ms Bradley, who became DUP deputy leader last month, abstained on a Stormont motion on banning gay conversion therapy.

However, she said if she had been given the choice by her party, she would have voted in favour of the motion.

She was not present for the vote because her father was in hospital.

But she said she had already agreed with the DUP that she would abstain.

The last time a DUP representative attended an LGBT event was in 2018 when Arlene Foster addressed PinkNews' first annual reception at Stormont.

She was the first DUP leader to do so. Mrs Foster said she valued the LGBT community's contribution to Northern Ireland but asked people to respect her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in the north last year after Westminster intervened during the Assembly's three-year collapse.

Last month, a planned meeting between then First Minister Arlene Foster and LGBT organisations was cancelled by the groups after she was ousted as DUP leader.

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