Explain to constituents why they didn't vote in the equal marriage debate.
  • Petitioned East Belfast Alliance MLAs Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

East Belfast Alliance
East Belfast Alliance MLAs Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle
See response
MLA
Judith Cochrane
MLA
Chris Lyttle

Explain to constituents why they didn't vote in the equal marriage debate.

    1. Kellie Turtle
    2. Petition by

      Kellie Turtle

      Belfast, United Kingdom

We want them to explain in person to a collective of progressive East Belfast voters why they refused to take part in a vote that addressed the rights of a marginalised group of people within our community. In a robust democracy politicians must be held to account and particularly when their actions are intentionally prejudiced against those within our society who already experience discrimination. As concerned constituents we feel that we have the right to have politicians who we believed would represent our views, particularly around issues of human rights and equality, answer to us directly. The Alliance Party in East Belfast won support by offering an alternative to dominant religious and political dogmas, and suggesting they would be "leading change". However, the actions of Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle in refusing to vote in the equal marriage debate on 1st Oct 2012, left constituents feeling betrayed. If you live in East Belfast and want to call on them to give account for this, please sign and share.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Decision-maker East Belfast Alliance MLAs Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle responds:

      East Belfast Alliance MLAs Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle

      I am sorry if you feel that I have let you down this week. I have many friends in the LGBT community both in NI and further afield whom I care about deeply but who accept that I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

      I do...


    2. Decision-maker East Belfast Alliance MLAs Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle responds:

      East Belfast Alliance MLAs Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle

      Message on behalf of East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long:

      Thank you for writing in relation to the Marriage Equality motion voted on in the Northern Ireland Assembly this week.

      As a Member of Parliament, I was not eligible to vote ...


    3. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Pádraig Ó Tuama BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      I expect politicians to have the courage to speak. If they wish to articulate opposition to equal marriage on religious grounds, let them have the courage to speak up and be open to sound engagement from other people who support equal marriage, not in spite of faith, theology and religion, but because of it.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David Scott BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      Why have policies if you're not going to show up when there's a vote?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mark Lunn BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      I am so surprised at this, I think it will affect Mrs Long in the next election and the MLAs also, It has changed not only my mind but my families mind about the Alliance party.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Michael Bell BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      This is where Judith Cochrane MLA explains her reasons for defying the Alliance whip (http://sluggerotoole.com/2012/10/01/lessons-from-up-on-the-hill-mind-your-soundbites-voting-on-equal-marriage/#comments). I just don't agree God should be in politics especially when it's an equality issue:

      “I am sorry if you feel that I let you down yesterday. I have many friends in the LGBT community both in NI and further afield whom I care about deeply but who accept that I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

      I do however believe that the law should protect people in life-long, same-sex relationships in equivalent ways as it does married people and this is why I supported the Civil Partnership legislation back in 2005. If a Civil Partnership does not currently provide equality of benefits and rights that are available through marriage then amendments to strengthen the Civil Partnership Act would be appropriate.

      I appreciate that you do not agree with my view and I respect you for that. You will know that many of us in the Party have wrestled with this over the past few months and some felt able to support the motion yesterday.

      Unfortunately I could not come to that position in time for the debate yesterday and therefore, out of respect to my colleagues who were strongly in support of the motion, I did not vote against it.

      I joined Alliance because it was the only NI party that I felt at home in – being neither a Nationalist nor a Unionist. I believe that Alliance has so much to offer the people in Northern Ireland and I apologise again that I was unable to reach a position of support for the motion yesterday.”

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • clare gormley BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      Appalled by the apathy of our leaders. We want an expaination, we want equal rights

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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