Northern Ireland politician reverses stance on same-sex marriage after daughter marries woman
The former first minister of Northern Ireland who has opposed and voted against same-sex marriage as a member of Parliament says he changed his stance on the issue after his daughter married a woman.
Lord David Trimble, who led the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2005, announced his reversal on his stance on same-sex marriage during a recent House of Lords debate on an MP vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
“I have found myself taking a particular position with regard to same-sex marriage, which was forced upon me when my elder daughter got married to her girlfriend,” he said, according to Irish Times.
“I cannot change that, and I cannot now go around saying that I am opposed to it because I acquiesced to it. There we are,” Trimble added.
The revelation comes as Northern Ireland, the last area of the UK where same-sex marriage is illegal, is poised to finally recognize marriage equality.
Lord Trimble voted against the Civil Partnerships Bill in 2004 and the Ulster Unionist Party opposed same-sex marriage in previous years.
“It is just one example of how some might argue there is a shift happening,” the BBC reported about Trimble’s support of same-sex marriage.
Civil unions are currently legal in Northern Ireland. Legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has been debated by the Northern Ireland Assembly five times since 2012 and nearly passed in 2015.
In 2017, the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed, opening up a path for the UK Parliament to vote on same-sex marriage for Northern Ireland. Parliament overwhelmingly approved legalizing same-sex marriage last week.
Polls show a majority of people living in the UK support same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In June 2019, a poll showed 70 percent of people in the UK said same-sex couples should be able to marry, up from 65 percent in 2018.
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