Alliance councillors have expressed disappointment that Mid and East Antrim Ulster Unionists did not support a motion to fly a Pride flag at key council buildings during an event next year.
The motion, put forward by Larne Lough Cllr. Danny Donnelly, was defeated by 28 votes to ten.
Cllr. Donnelly said: “All those intent on holding the borough back from being the best version of itself must accept the longterm impact of their actions.
“Following on the back of a very successful inaugural Pride festival in August, supporting the call for the Pride flag to fly next year would have sent a signal that as council we are committed to showcasing openness and equality.
“People from across the borough enjoyed what was a fantastic day with something for everyone, yet now we have the council sending out a message that it doesn’t see everyone in our community as equals.
“This would have been a very significant gesture, recognising the valuable contribution LGBTQ+ citizens make to our borough and I’m bitterly disappointed for everyone involved that council has refused to do so.”
Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna who seconded the motion added: “The Pride event itself was such a success that regardless of the small-minded attitude of the majority of councillors, I have no doubt, and every confidence, it will continue to grow from strength to strength.
“While it was very disappointing that the DUP and TUV refused to back this motion, I cannot understand why the Ulster Unionist councillors did not back their party leader’s pledge that the party will not stand for intolerance of any kind.
“Mid and East Antrim Council strives to build a strong, safe, vibrant and inclusive community. It is time these councillors lived up to that ideal.
“Alliance is proud to stand up for everyone and will continue to champion the rights of all across Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.”