The display of a “highly offensive placard” at a homosexual pride march in Northern Ireland has been criticised by a leading politician.
Following a public outcry after a previous march the organisers of Belfast Pride gave assurances that anti-Christian placards would not be carried in future parades.
But this year’s march saw one activist bearing a sign that read: “Jesus had two dads (and he turned out just fine)”.
In response Jim Allister, leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice and the MLA for North Antrim, branded the placard as “highly offensive” and dismissed the organiser’s assurances as “worthless”.
Commenting on the issue he said: “Such sentiments would not be permitted if Mohammed had been the object of the marcher’s mockery. Why should Christianity be treated any differently?
“This year – as has been the case previously – the ‘Pride’ parade has been anything other than the family friendly event which the organisers attempt to portray it as.
“Christians peacefully demonstrating at the event were subjected to a torrent of foulmouthed abuse and obscene gestures.
“It is high time that the organisers of Belfast Pride were held accountable for the actions of those who take part in the parade.”
Belfast Pride spokesman Chris Love said: “A small number of individuals that may have infiltrated the parade were removed from proceedings.”
However, when he was pressed about the identity of these individuals and the placards Mr Love said that the Pride Committee could not “comment on individual cases”.
A second protester bore a placard that said “Jesus protect me from your followers”.
In 2007 the march faced calls to be banned after one participant carried a placard saying “Jesus is a fag”.