Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Parties misjudge Catholic voters

THERE seems to be some confusion as to what way Catholic/nationalist MLAs and MPs voted in the same-sex marriage debates.

In the Assembly in October 2012, all of the Sinn Fein MLAs present voted in favour of same-sex marriages; all of the SDLP MLAs who were present also voted in favour, with the exception of Alban Maginness, who abstained. By contrast, all the votes against were unionist.

In Westminster in February, Mark Durkan (SDLP) voted in favour of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill and Alasdair McDonnell and Margaret Ritchie (both SDLP) abstained. Again all the unionist MPs voted against the Bill.

But it would appear that many Catholics would have conscientious objections to supporting the stance that both SF and SDLP MLAs and MPs have taken to date.

DANIEL HOLMES

Limavady, Co Londonderry

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