28/04/2014

Calls To Reject Gay Marriage Repeated

A number of Northern Ireland's Catholic bishops have called on the Northern Ireland Assembly to reject same-sex marriage.

In an open letter, the bishops say it is "inappropriate" to apply the principle of equality to "two fundamentally different types of relationship".

The issue of gay marriage is due to be debated in the Assembly on Tuesday (29 April).

The letter, which has been signed by Cardinal Sean Brady and six other bishops, argue that 'family', which is based on a woman and a man being married, is "the best and ideal place for children and deserves special recognition and promotion by the state.".

They added that it is not discrimination to treat different types of relationships differently.
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The Church of Ireland has also reaffirmed its position on the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. In a statement on its website, it said: "The Church of Ireland affirms, according to our Lord's teaching that marriage is in its purpose a union permanent and life–long, for better or worse, till death do them part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side. The Church of Ireland recognises for itself and of itself, no other understanding of marriage."

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the NI Assembly would once again debate the issue of gay marriage.

The motion has been filed by a number of MLAs, and said that "other jurisdictions on these island have moved forward with equal marriage rights for same-sex couples", adding that Northern Ireland should introduce similar laws.

The region is the only remaining nation in the UK that has chosen not to legalise same-sex marriage. Political parties Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance Party have all said they are in favour of changing the current laws, but the DUP has repeatedly vetoed debates on the issue.

(JP)

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