A café in Belfast has announced that elected representatives from the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland will not be welcome on the premises due to the party’s stance on same-sex marriage.
Belfast Books on the York Road plan on opening a café on the shop’s premises in the near future. They have launched a crowdfunding page in order to get started, but they have already made it clear that members of the DUP will not be served.
The Belfast Book’s Managing Director John Junk spoke to Belfast Live about the proposed ban:
“I’ve had a good working relationship with some local DUP elected representatives and grassroots members of the party, and work alongside them on various community forums.
“But the party’s stance on equal marriage does not sit well with us, so their elected representatives will be banned from the café.”
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Junk continued, clarifying the extent of the DUP ban:
“For the avoidance of doubt, their elected representatives won’t be banned from the bookshop as such a ban would have little effect.
“In over four years of us being open, not one of their elected representatives have darkened our door outside of election time.”
Luke Poots, a DUP councillor in Lisburn criticised the bookshop’s plan as he shared their post on Facebook saying:
“This is pathetic. I don’t care about the ban but the fact that they are using it as a publicity stunt to crowdfund and open a business is pathetic. If that is their level of business acumen I pity them.”
It is not the first time that the Belfast organisation have taken a stance within their establishment. Earlier this year, they stopped donating to, and purchasing books from Oxfam after a document leaked revealed a sexual exploitation scandal in Haiti involving Oxfam team members.
Moreover, the bookshop claims that they refuse to accept Bank of England notes, claiming that they are not “legal tender” in Northern Ireland. This is due to the fact that many English retailers do not see Northern Irish bank notes as legal tender.
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