Organisers behind anti-Mid Ulster Pride protest urged to withdraw Parades Commission application
Organisers behind an anti-Mid Ulster Pride protest have been urged to withdraw their Parades Commission application by an SDLP MLA.
A protest event in Cookstown is scheduled on the Parades Commission website to take place on September 18 at 3pm.
According to the notice under the organisation “Protest Against Mid-Ulster Pride”, around 80 people are expected to participate in the two-hour event.
There is also a separate application on the Parades Commission website from what is noted as a private individual.
According to the Parades Commission website, both parades are due to be considered by the body on Wednesday
The events come on the same day as the second-ever Mid Ulster Pride march, which is also set to take place on September 18 in the town.
A protest in January 2020 drew just three people when the Mid Ulster Pride committee launched its first parade and associated events.
Mid Ulster SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone said the protests are an “unwelcome reminder of the past”.
“This intolerance has no place in Mid Ulster and in no way reflects the view of the community here,” he said.
“Mid Ulster Pride was only launched last year, it was a success and well received by the vast majority of people here.
“To try and ruin or detract from that is an outstanding act of pettiness that should be rightly condemned by anyone with an ounce of empathy or sense.
“Our LGBT+ community face enough challenges in their everyday lives. Pride is an opportunity for them to come together and celebrate who they are and for others to show their support.
“This planned protest would achieve nothing other than to upset local people, it’s extremely distasteful and the organisers should withdraw their application immediately.
If they insist on proceeding then the Parades Commission should step in.
“This protest is not in the interests of anyone other than a small group of people who insist on pushing their unwelcome agenda long after the rest of society has left them behind.”