Hansard gives you a full run down of the voting of the Peers on the Amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2nd reading, which would have killed the progress in the upper chamber in an attempt to kill it. It makes interesting when you look at the full range of ‘Northern Irish’ Lords and Ladies.
9 were content with the amendment, 6 not content and 11 were either absent or did not register a vote.
Those content include many of the usual suspects the DUPs Lords Wallace Browne and Maurice Morrow and Lord Robert Eames the former Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh. Some former UUP MPs and MLAs Lord Kilclooney (John Taylor), Lord Ken Maginnis and Lord Reg Empey were also in the content lobby. There were joined by Belfast born former Conservative Party Chairman Lord Brian Mawhinney, Lord Robert Carswell the former Lord Chief Justice in Northern Ireland and former Police Ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan.
Of these Lord Browne may a speech on the second day
Those not content were:
- former First Minister Lord David Trimble (now sitting as a Conservative peer)
- the Lib Dem’s spokesman on Northern Ireland in the Lords and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster Lord Trevor Smith of Clifton
- Baroness May Blood
- Viscount Brookborough, grandson of the a former NI Prime Minister and one of the 92 hereditary peers.
- Baroness Onora O’Neill, President of the British Academy and Granddaughter of UUP MP Hugh O’Neill who was the uncle of former NI Prime Minister Terrance O’Neill.
- Lord Glentoran, to many better know as 1964 Olympic 2 man bobsled champion Robin Dixon.
Those who were absent or did not register a vote included Lord Bannside and his wife Baroness Paisley and Lord Molyneaux, although the three of these political stalwarts hardly attend these days due to age and health. Lord Laird who recently had the whip removed from him for cash for lobbying work was also absent, as was Lord Dennis Rogan, considered to be the UUP leader in the Lords. Other former Lords Chief Justice for Northern Ireland Lord Brian Hutton and Lord Brian Kerr of Tonaghmore were also missing from the vote roll.
Also absent were former Trimble adviser Lord Paul Bew who is a Professor at Queens who actually rose and spoke in the chamber later for other business, businessmen Lord Ballyedmond (Edward Haughey) and Lord Diljit Rana.
Finally Lord Alderdice was one who actually spoke in the debate but didn’t in the end vote either way. He did say that at present he was unpersuaded, but was persuadable over the issue of equal marriage. I hope he will listen to some of the comments made to him by members of LGBT+ Lib Dems NI and the local party.