Lisburn promotes itself as the “City for Everyone” – it is peculiar, therefore, that DUP Councillors are seeking to give the freedom of the city to an organization which is specifically not for everyone.
As a Liberal party, we have no objection to organizations which seek to support or promote a particular religious doctrine and we support associated cultural activities provided they take place within the rule of law in a respectful manner. However, the attempt to give freedom of the city to an organization which has problems with members even attending Catholic funerals is bizarre.
“The argument is that the Orange Order provides a valuable community service,” says Cllr Brian Dornan, “But so do many churches and other organizations.”
“Freedom of the City is something reserved for organizations where there is wide consensus that they have provided exceptional service. In the case of the Orange Order, such consensus simply does not exist,” he adds.
The Orange Order excludes Catholics, non-Christians and women from its membership. “For everyone” it most certainly is not!