Belfast City Councillors voted in favour of Same Sex Marriage last night. The motion which was brought by Alliance Party Councillor, Emmet McDonough-Brown and seconded by Sinn Fein’s Jim McVeigh was passed 38 votes in favour to 13 against. Two councillors from the SDLP group abstained on the vote.
Speaking on his motion Cllr McDonough-Brown said that people who want to be able to commit to each other should be able to and that fundamentally we had a choice to be seen as a tolerant open society or a back water who opposes this change.
Another contribution from the UUP Cllr Jeffrey Dudgeon had a touch of scepticism about this motion and the ability of our politicians to bring in this change as he said to the chamber;
I am not of the view that the legislative change sought will be achieved through Stormont, certainly for a number of years. This motion is not going to change many minds there. I rather expect my learned friends in the High Court and in Strasbourg will again be the vehicle of change.
On the vote break down of councillors who were present.
All Sinn Fein, PUP, Greens, People Before Profit and Alliance voted in favour. 3 UUP Councillors (McGimpsey, Dudgeon and Copeland) supported the motion too. Two SDLP Councillors abstained (Convery and Boyle)m the rest voted in favour.
All DUP councillors voted against, as did the remaining 3 UUP Councillors.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs