Mr Varadkar said that his reason for going to Belfast this weekend is to make a speech at Queens University and meet Northern Irish political and business leaders, but that he will be attending the official Pride event while in the city.
“The reason I am going on Friday, it is not Pride, it is to meet the leaders of the Northern parties, it is to make a speech at Queens [University] and also meet business, union and civil society leaders in Belfast,” the Taoiseach told reporters today. “I won’t be able to attend the parade because I want to get back to Croke Park for the match.”
Asked about the DUP’s stance on same-sex marriage, Mr Varadkar said he would not be making any compromises on the issue. The DUP has consistently vetoed majority votes in Stormont for same sex marriage to be introduced.
“I will attend the Pride breakfast on Saturday morning in Belfast to express my support for equality before the law for Catholics, Protestants, non-religious people, men, women, gay people and straight people. And I won’t be making any compromises about that for anyone really,” Varadkar said.
The Rainbow Project, an LGBT support group in Northern Ireland, said Mr Varadkar’s attendance at the Pride breakfast “is a testament to how far social attitudes have changed on this island”.
According to Project director John O’Doherty: “We hope that it will not be long before the consensus on LGBT equality which has been achieved in the Republic is mirrored in all parts of this island.”
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