Newtownabbey Alliance Councillor Tom Campbell has said that he welcomes the move in relation to the registration of civil registration of same sex partnerships.
Cllr Campbell said:
“Newtownabbey will provide the facilities for registration of such partnerships and I welcome this. It must be remembered that there are important legal implications in terms of inheritance for those involved. This is not what has been termed by others as a ‘gay wedding’ ceremony. What is being offered to these couples is the formal legal recognition of their relationships to which they are entitled by law. I hope that this issue will not be used by others as a basis for displaying intolerance or prejudice and that we can move forward with respect and sensitivity for those involved.
“The registration is a statutory requirement of Councils. It is up to the Councils themselves as to whether they should also facilitate a ceremony in addition to completing the formal legal requirements. For my part I would look sympathetically at the use of Council premises for a ceremony, if requested. As far as I understand it, the Council’s officials have not had an opportunity to consider what facilities, if any, should be on offer. Ballyclare Town Hall could be such a venue.”
Information on civil registration: http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/civil_partnership_guidance.pdf