North’s Alliance Party supports marriage equality
The party passed a motion which calls for marriage equality, and which addresses religious beliefs by ensuring that faiths are neither compelled by the state to solemnise same-sex marriages nor prevented from doing so. It also supports giving authority to humanists to solemnise marriages.
The motion reads:
That, in line with Alliance’s core commitment to equality and to freedom of religion, party council supports the extension of civil marriage provisions to same sex couples, provided that robust protections are provided through legislation to ensure that faith groups and religious celebrants will not be forced to conduct same sex marriage ceremonies or to have them conducted on their premises.
In recognition of the importance of freedom of religion, Alliance further believes that faith groups which, in conscience, wish to marry same sex couples should not be prevented by the state from doing so.
We would also support the extension of the authority to solemnise marriages to accredited humanist celebrants, which cannot currently do so.
The move follows a consultation process across the party which lasted several months.
Party leader, David Ford, said that “Alliance has always stood for a progressive and equal society. Alliance will oppose any form of discrimination, whether it is based on age, race, disability, gender or sexual orientation.”
He added: “There are equality issues in allowing those in a same sex relationship to have only civil partnerships, which is seen as discriminatory.”
The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is a liberal and non-sectarian political party in Northern Ireland. It is Northern Ireland’s fifth-largest party overall, with eight seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly and one in the House of Commons.
The party describes itself as:
working to build a shared society, without division, free from sectarianism and prejudice and in which everyone – regardless of religion, gender, class, disability, colour, age, sexuality or nationality – are treated with respect and enabled to fulfil their full potential, free from fear.
The Alliance Party has its roots in non-sectarian Unionism, but since the ’70s and ’80s moved towards a neutral stance. It is neither listed as “unionist” or “nationalist” in the Northern Ireland Assembly, but is listed as “other”.