The Equality Act
On Monday morning, the Transitional Assembly debated The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, which come into effect on Jan 1, 2007, and will outlaw discrimination in goods and services on the basis of a person's sexual orientation. Jeffrey Donaldson's motion was as follows:
That this Assembly notes that the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 have been laid in Westminster in advance of the equivalent regulations for the rest of the United Kingdom and calls upon the Government to withdraw these regulations and leave this issue to be determined by the Northern Ireland Assembly upon restoration.
When the Assembly voted, it was divided equally (39-39) and the motion was not carried. The official record of the debate is here; and the following are the names of those who voted and how they voted:
Billy Armstrong, Norah Beare, Roy Beggs, Billy Bell, Paul Berry, Esmond Birnie, Thomas Buchanan, Gregory Campbell, Wilson Clyde, Robert Coulter, Leslie Cree, George Dawson, Diane Dodds, Nigel Dodds, Jeffrey Donaldson, Reg Empey, George Ennis, Arlene Foster, Samuel Gardiner, Paul Girvan, William Hay, David Hilditch, Danny Kennedy, Nelson McCausland, William McCrea, David McNarry, Stephen Moutray, Dermot Nesbitt, Robin Newton, Ian Paisley Jnr, Ian R K Paisley, Edwin Poots, George Robinson, Peter Robinson, Jim Shannon, David Simpson, Mervyn Storey, Peter Weir, Jim Wilson.
Gerry Adams, Alex Attwood, Dominic Bradley, Mary Bradley, Francis Brolly, Willie Clarke, John Dallat, Pat Doherty, David Ervine, Sean Farren, David Ford, Tommy Gallagher, Carmel Hanna, Davy Hyland, Dolores Kelly, Gerry Kelly, Patricia Lewsley, Naomi Long, Alban Maginness, Alex Maskey, Fra McCann, Kieran McCarthy, Raymond McCartney, Alasdair McDonnell, Barry McElduff, Philip McGuigan, Mitchel McLaughlin, Eugene McMenamin, Francie Molloy, Conor Murphy, John O’Dowd, Pat O’Rawe, Tom O’Reilly, Pat Ramsey, Sue Ramsey, Margaret Ritchie, Caitriona Ruane, Kathy Stanton. Vote on vacancy in Membership [Michael Ferguson (deceased)]: Gerry Adams.
You'll notice that Paul Berry voted in support of Jeffrey Donaldson's motion. The voting is mostly along unionist-nationalist lines; David Ervine of the PUP voted against the motion and made a speech in favour of the new regulations; and Alliance members also voted against the motion, with their leader, David Ford, also speaking in the debate.