Anti-equal marriage politician’s daughter speaks out about marrying a woman
The daughter of Northern Ireland’s former First Minister Lord Trimble has spoken about helping to change his mind about same-sex marriage, by getting married to a woman.
Lord Trimble, now a Conservative Party peer, revealed to the House of Lords on July 10 that he had abandoned his anti-gay marriage views after his eldest daughter, Vicky Trimble, got married.
Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback on Tuesday (July 16), Vicky Trimble spoke about what it was like to come out to her father, who was previously a strong opponent of gay unions.
Vicky Trimble: When I came out, my dad put his head in his hands
She said: “I didn’t speak to either of [my parents] about it until I was in my mid-to-late 20s. When I did tell my parents, my dad’s reaction was to put his head in his hands.
“I think he was a bit taken aback, but my mum didn’t seem surprised. I think maybe she had an inkling.
“Since then, it’s been a bit of a non-issue. He has changed his view to support myself and [my wife] Ros.
“We’re quite close and he’s been very supportive of us, and invited us both to official events in the House of Lords.”
She added: “I think he’s taken that journey, when he realised I should have the same rights as the rest of his children.”
Her wife Rosalind Stephens added: “When Vicky and I met, Vicky told me her father was in politics and that’s as far as it went. So I’m a bit surprised with everything that’s going on, to be honest.
“He’s always been very supportive of me, and almost like a father figure to me. It’s been a very lovely journey.”
Of her father’s change of heart, Trimble said: “I think that a lot of people with more conservative traditional viewspoints, sometimes it does take that personal connection… everyone’s got their own journey.”
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Couple’s marriage still not recognised in Northern Ireland
The couple currently live in London, and got married in Scotland.
Their union would not be recognised as a marriage in Northern Ireland, which is the only part of the UK to still ban same-sex unions.
Trimble explained: “It’s a little bit upsetting, actually, to think that if I go back to Northern Ireland, which is home, our marriage isn’t recognised as valid.”
Parliament is currently considering a measure to extend same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, in the absence of a devolved government in the region.
The House of Commons voted 383-73 in favour of the amendment to extend same-sex marriage, tabled by Labour MP Conor McGinn.