CRAIGAVON’S sole Alliance councillor Conrad Dixon has stated his strong support for his party’s stance on same-sex marriage. Mr Dixon, a solicitor, said that his support has all to do with equality, a shared society, with human rights and with modern-day realities.
On Saturday, the party voted on a reported 80 per cent majority to embrace same-sex marriages with safeguards for religious groups, three years after publicly opposing it, and seven years after being split on the introduction of civil partnerships in 2005.
Mr Dixon said, “The issue has been discussed from constituency association to party level - including Upper Bann - and a wide range of opinions has been expressed in robust debate. I think that tolerance and equality are essential in a progressive, liberal society.”
Mr Dixon believes implicitly in same-sex marriages. But he insisted, “The rights of churches and religious groups who disagree with us must be protected - no church would be expected to go against its principles. Any change in the law must include safeguards that faith groups can choose who they marry.”
He also claimed that some churches agreed with the current law allowing civil partnerships, and that they would also back same-sex marriages. And he described the current situation of civil partnership couples having to go to from a church to a civic building to sign the appropriate register as a farce . “Same sex marriage is the sensible way ahead,” said Mr Dixon.
He was elected to Central Craigavon in the 2011 poll, ousting Kieran Corr (Independent).
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