29/03/2018

Bill For Same-Sex Marriage In NI Passes First Stage

A bill for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has passed the first stage.

Labour MP Conor McGinn, originally from Armagh, raised the private member's bill at the House of Commons and he later joined campaigners who were delivering a petition to 10 Downing Street.

In a speech, Mr McGinn said: "The Northern Ireland Assembly being in cold storage, shouldn't mean that Northern Ireland remains a cold house for LGBT people and their rights.

"The defacto suspension of the devolved legislature does not mean that equality for same sex couples can be suspended indefinitely - because rights delayed are rights denied."

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said: "The passage of the first step towards delivering equal marriage to Northern Ireland is absolutely fantastic news.
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"It is however truly shameful that we are not making this legislation here. After well over a year without Government, people right across the North will be asking themselves why they have been left powerless to deliver any change and why we are now in a position where all our power has been given to the DUP and Tory Government.

"I am however delighted after working closely with my colleague Conor McGinn MP in our sister party – that we are on the right road to finally delivering equality to for all our LGBT brothers and sisters.

"I want to be very clear – the SDLP and indeed the people of Northern Ireland support equal marriage. We support an inclusive, equal future, free from discrimination and intolerance."

NI is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is still illegal.

(CD/LM)

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