Just before Christmas we took notice of a strange little spat being fought out by proxy between Speaker Dunne, who wants a little church service to start the Assembly sitting year, and Chief Minister Gallagher who doesn’t want a bar of it.
The row is now running on the UK’s National Secular Society.
Ms Gallagher said on Tuesday that the ceremony could be seen as the beginning of a formal link between the Assembly and the church if she attended. ”’I don’t want to appear churlish or disrespectful, my declining of the invitation is to make sure we keep the Assembly as the secular institution it has always been. If that is to change it should be done by a vote of the Assembly, not a day that was organised by the Speaker.”
Mrs Dunne confirmed that the ceremony would go ahead whether the Chief Minister attended. ”As is completely proper I extended an invitation to the Chief Minister,” she said. Whether the Chief Minister decides to attend this community event or not is completely her decision.”
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Katy gets to be a hero to her Dawkins worshippers (on a global stage no less) and Vicki plays the martyr to her fundies and the applause of the ACL.
Both walk away happy from this one.