DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson holds meeting with LGBT group


DUP chief Sir Jeffrey Donaldson held a meeting with an LGBT organization.

He met with representatives of the Rainbow Project on Monday in Stormont.

It is believed to be the first time that a DUP leader has had a meeting with an LGBT group.

The engagement is the latest sign that the DUP is slowly softening its stance towards the LGBT community.

It is understood that Sir Jeffrey met the Rainbow Project in the afternoon at the Parliament Buildings, a DUP source told Belfast Live.

They described the meeting as “very pleasant and cordial”.

Sir Jeffrey regularly shares photos of his various engagements on Twitter, but the Lagan Valley MP’s meeting with the LGBT charity has not been made public in the same way.

The DUP and the Rainbow Project have been approached for comment.

The DUP has a long history of hostility towards LGBT people, including party founder Ian Paisley Snr who led the “Save Ulster From Sodomy” campaign in the 1970s against the decriminalization of homosexuality.

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In July, DUP deputy leader Paula Bradley apologized for “absolutely atrocious” comments made in the past by some members of her party against LGBT people.

Sir Jeffrey backed Ms Bradley’s apology, saying people can have “deeply held views” on social issues in a respectful manner.

As the DUP opposed gay marriage, Party MP Pam Cameron shared online last month her joy at attending her best friends’ gay weddings.

The leader of the DUP previously declared that he wanted to “widen the attractiveness of trade unionism”.

In his first opening speech after becoming leader, he said his party had to be in the “mainstream of unionism” and that he could not afford to be marginalized with “policies that apply to a few. – some and not most ”.

Earlier this year, a scheduled meeting between then-prime minister Arlene Foster and LGBT organizations was called off after her ousting as DUP leader.

Ms Foster became the first DUP leader to attend an LGBT event in 2018 when she addressed a PinkNews reception in Stormont.

She said she appreciated the contribution of the LGBT community to Northern Ireland, but asked people to respect her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in Northern Ireland last year after Westminster intervened in the three-year collapse of the Assembly.

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