Former First-Minister of Northern Ireland David Trimble has revealed that his feelings towards same-sex marriage have changed since his eldest daughter’s recent marriage.
Speaking at the House of Lords last Wednesday, Trimble said that “I have found myself taking a particular position with regard to same-sex marriage, which was forced upon me when my elder daughter got married to her girlfriend”.
This change of heart may come as a surprise to voters as Trimble, during his time as leader of the UUP (Ulster Unionist Party), voted against the Civil Partnership Bill in 2004 and remained absent on further votes concerning LGBT+ rights in Northern Ireland.
Responding to this news, Trimble’s eldest daughter Victoria took to Facebook, saying that her father had walked her up the aisle and even given a touching speech at her wedding to girlfriend Rosalind Stephens.
Victoria Trimble even shared the funny story of how former-MP Trimble first met his daughter-in-law, “coming out of the bathroom, wrapped in a duvet”, to which her wife joked, “That was a moment I will never forget”.
Trimble’s newfound support for LGBT+ issues comes in the wake of the House of Commons’ vote to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland within three months, should the devolved government continue its hiatus.
David Trimble is probably best known for his work on the Good Friday Agreement with John Hume, for which the pair were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.
Trimble’s changing attitude towards LGBT+ issues could be a promising sign for progress to come in Northern Ireland after decades of campaigning for the same rights afforded both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Victoria Trimble summed her father’s newfound support best, saying “a lot of people who think they are against same-sex marriage may never have encountered someone who is gay. Now that he (Trimble) has had that personal experience, he realises it is just like any other relationship”.
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