Lagan Valley MLA Trevor Lunn has said the use of a petition of concern by the DUP to block this week’s marriage equality motion is a sad reflection on the Assembly’s ability to legislate.
Mr Lunn was speaking after MLAs voted in favour of the motion, 53-51. However, the motion, calling for the Executive to table legislation to allow for equal marriage, was defeated after the DUP lodged a petition of concern blocking it.
The Alliance representative said while the vote was a “moral victory” for those backing marriage equality, he was disappointed the courts may have to eventually legislate on the matter in order to see it introduced here.
“I am pleased the vast majority of Alliance MLAs backed today’s motion, showing once again the party is committed to a shared society with equality for all. Equal marriage is fundamentally a matter of equality and human rights, and today we helped increase the vote in favour of it. However, others are clearly happy to abuse the democratic process by using a petition of concern on this matter. It is a sad reflection on the Assembly’s inability to legislate and the willingness of some to abdicate responsibility that it will likely take the courts to rule in favour of equal marriage before it is introduced here.
“In light of my personal experience in this matter, I would not seek to coerce anyone into taking a particular position on it. Rather by engaging respectfully, we can convince others.”