A DUP councillor has issued a public apology for liking a tweet that referred to Alliance MLAs as “two deviants and an enabler”’.
Following a PinkNews event at Stormont in June, Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw had posted a picture of herself along with party colleagues Andrew Muir and Eoin Tennyson, who are both openly gay.
One response to the photo contained the deviant insult, along with an image with text stating there was no such thing as transgender, only those who were manipulated by drugs or surgery.
The response was liked by Mr Moutray, which Ms Bradshaw called “really disappointing” at the time and called on the DUP leadership to condemn his actions.
Nearly two months later, Mr Moutray posted an apology on Saturday and said he had only meant to express support for the message on the image which said there was no such thing as being transgender, but not the caption with the deviant insult above it.
“I would like to clarify that on June 28, 2023, I ‘liked’ a tweet in response to a tweet from Ms Bradshaw in relating to her attendance at a ‘PinkNews’ event,” he wrote.
“I ‘liked’ this tweet in reference to the contents of a graphic, and not in respect of the caption above it.
“I did not notice this caption at the time of ‘liking’ the graphic, and on noticing this the following day, I then ‘unliked’ the tweet.
“In serving as a public representative for over 22 years, I am well aware of my responsibilities under the Code of Conduct to show respect and consideration for others.
“To this end, I apologise for any offence caused to Ms Bradshaw, Mr Muir and Mr Tennyson.”
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Earlier in June, Mr Tennyson had also accused the DUP MLA David Hilditch of trolling him on Twitter with “particularly reckless and potentially very harmful” homophobic comments, which Mr Hilditch later denied.
In 2021, the former DUP MLA Paula Bradley had used an appearance at a PinkNews event to apologise for some of the “absolutely atrocious” comments made by her party about the LGBT community over the years, including a ‘Save Ulster From Sodomy’ campaign during the 1970s.
Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson later backed her comments, stating it was possible for people to hold “deeply held views” on social issues in a respectful way.
Read more: Who are the DUP - An explainer