Wednesday 3 October 2012

David Ford issues apology for Monday

The leader of the Alliance Party David Ford has issued an apology following the way only half his party voted in line with the party policy on marriage equality on Monday and one actually voted against.

I would also like to apologise to anybody who was unhappy with the outcome of the vote on the Assembly motion on equal marriage. I recognise that many people, particularly those in the LGBT community, are disappointed that not all Alliance MLAs voted in support of the motion. At the September meeting of our Party Council, an overwhelming majority of 81% voted for our policy in support of equal marriage, with robust legislative recognition of the right of churches, faith groups and clergy to opt out of conducting such marriages if that is their wish. It is therefore the formal policy of the party.

Monday's vote reflects the fact that this has been a difficult issue for some party members and elected representatives. The Party will consider the decisions made by its Assembly Members through an internal process, but regardless of last Monday's vote the party policy will remain unchanged.

Notwithstanding what happened on Monday, the party will continue to promote support for its policy at every opportunity, and efforts will continue to persuade those inside the party who have their own concerns with the policy and those in wider society who are opposed to equal marriage.


  1. A reason why we need a strong Liberal Democrat presence in Northern Ireland. Living across the water, I wouldn't have imagined for one moment that the Alliance Party would vote any other way than a huge majority in support of marriage equality.

    At least David Ford has apologised, but I am very surprised by this outcome. I would have expected much more of the Alliance Party.

  2. Trevor Lunn, MLA, opposed the use of Lisburn's "wedding" room for civil partnerships so its no surprise he voted No in the assembly. Only as liberal as their religious conviction allows methinks