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Writer's take on Alliance same-sex stance confused

Published 12/08/2015

As an Alliance Party member and representative, I would like to respond to Alf McCreary's article (Saturday Review, August 8), which argued that Alliance will lose votes as a result of its stance requiring candidates to support same-sex marriage.

Mr McCreary must have missed a recent poll by Ipsos Mori that found 80% of Alliance members support same-sex marriage, particularly within the party's growing youth wing, for whom it is simply a matter of common sense.

The author seems certain this stance is political suicide, yet also describes it as political opportunism, which implies that Alliance is trying to gain politically from a pro-same-sex marriage position. Neither, in fact, is the case. This is a principled stance, well in line with the party's values.

Fundamentally, Alliance is a liberal party. Any understanding of liberalism could not level an adequate reason why same-sex marriage should be illegal.

Party members - and indeed representatives - are as free as ever to hold whatever views they choose to hold, liberal, conservative or otherwise. There is a significant difference between supporters being told what to think and asking prospective candidates to support party policy.

CLLR PATRICK BROWN (Alliance)

Newry, Mourne and Down

District Council

Belfast Telegraph

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