Alderman John Finlay.
DAYS before Northern Ireland's largest Gay Pride event in Belfast this Saturday Ballymoney DUP Alderman John Finlay has written to both the Director of BBC NI and the Chief Constable of the PSNI urging them to reconsider decisions both organisations have made allowing staff and officers to participate.
In a letter to new Chief Constable Simon Byrne, Alderman Finlay said it was “totally inappropriate” for police officers to be involved.
He described the Pride event as “a highly controversial event which has a very clear political agenda designed to radically change the whole moral basis of society.”
While in his open letter to BBC NI Director Mr Peter Johnston, Alderman Finlay said he was writing to express his “deep concern” at the decision by BBC NI to permit staff to participate in this Saturday’s Belfast Pride event.
Responding to the news, Causeway Alliance Councillor Chris McCaw said: “I’m sorry to hear John has chosen this path.
“I welcome the commitment from the BBC and PSNI to fly the Pride flag this year. This is an important step in making LGBT people feel included and accepted in society. It was particularly poignant to see PSNI officers taking part in the parade last year.
“I have no idea why someone would feel so threatened by this. All LGBT+ people are asking for is to be treated equally.”
LETTER TO BBC
In his letter to the BBC NI Director, Alderman Finlay said: “Belfast Pride, contrary to the propaganda, is not a family-friendly carnival event. On the contrary, it is a crude display of vulgarity and sexual innuendo to which children especially should not be exposed. Nor is it about equality. That flag of convenience needs to be exposed for what it is. The aim of the LGBT movement is to create a moral and social revolution.
“The BBC has a responsibility, not only to be impartial but to be seen to be impartial. It needs to carefully avoid any hint or suspicion of bias. Staff should therefore not have been permitted to be associated with Pride.
“Sadly, this decision does not really come as a major surprise, for we have had serious misgivings about the BBC’s impartiality on this issue for some time. Now those misgivings have been proved correct.
“Even at this late stage, I would urge BBC to reverse its decision. Such a move would help to restore some degree of confidence. Failure to do so will create a crisis in confidence from which the BBC might never recover.”
Alderman Finlay told Chief Constable Byrne that previous complaints to his predecessor from “a range of organisations and individuals” had “sadly fallen on deaf ears.”
He went on: “At the outset it is vital to recognise that the Belfast Pride event is not a family friendly carnival, nor is it primarily about equality. It is a highly controversial event which has a very clear political agenda designed to radically change the whole moral basis of society.”
“In that light it is totally inappropriate for police officers to be involved as it gives rise to serious and legitimate concerns about the impartiality of the PSNI.
“Many of us have genuine concerns about Pride and its agenda.
“We cannot have confidence in the police if they are to take sides.
“I suspect that those Christians involved in the act of witness outside Belfast city Hall on Saturday will be less than confident in the objectivity of the police in dealing with the event.
“It is interesting to contrast this open support for LGBT with the tight controls exercised by PSNI over its officers who are members of the loyal orders.
“This is something you might want to look into!”
Cllr McCaw concluded by saying: “Equality must be the moral foundation of any democratic society. Far from being a contentious event, Belfast Pride is growing in attendance every year, as people join us to celebrate diversity and combat prejudice.”