Same-sex marriage motion defeated

Published Tuesday, 29 April 2014
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A proposal to extend same-sex marriage law to Northern Ireland has been rejected at Stormont.

Same-sex marriage motion defeated
The debate at the assembly will go ahead on Tuesday. (© Getty)

On Tuesday MLAs debated on a move to introduce legislation to give equal benefits to couples of any sex or gender, as has been adopted in other parts of the UK.

The Sinn Féin motion stated that religious institutions should have the choice on whether to conduct same-sex marriages.

The debate went ahead after the DUP tabled a petition of concern on Monday, meaning the proposal would only be passed if a majority of both unionists and nationalists supported it.

The motion was supported by the SDLP and Alliance Party, while the UUP had allowed individual members to make their own minds up on the matter.

Supporters of gay marriage have held protests in both Belfast and Londonderry to object to the use of a petition.

The first gay marriages in the UK took place in England and Wales in March. In Scotland a similar law was introduced in February, with the first marriages expected there in October.

A referendum on the issue is likely to be held in the Republic of Ireland next year.

In an open letter on Monday, Catholic bishops urged politicians to reject the motion, while the Church of Ireland restated its opposition.

© UTV News
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24 Comments
joe mcdermott in rochdale wrote (209 days ago):
how backward is my birthplace.. how can anyone from ireland vote against same sex marriage? does the catholic church and the paisley brigade really have that much sway, that they can keep the gays of the country in the closet . welcome to the 21st century fellow irish men.
Bill in Belfast wrote (209 days ago):
I am really surprised that there has been no comments on this news story. Are UTV blocking all comments. The so called elected unionist leaders really need to move into the 21st century. You are all neanderthals and you will most definitely need to watch your votes decline. Roll on the elections and we will show real people power.
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (209 days ago):
More discrimination and hatred in the name of yahweh the imaginary friend of so many. Religion has no place in politics and those that voted against this motion should be ashamed of themselves. They have proved themselves to be the irrational, prejudiced, ignorant, misinformed, gullible fools that they are. I am embarrassed to be from the same cuontry as them.
Patrick in Belfast wrote (209 days ago):
There is a clear divide with 98% Of the No's with Unionism. shame.
Richard in Belfast wrote (210 days ago):
A very sad day... Equal rights are as important now as women getting the vote was 100 years ago! NI small mindedness prevails again. Wake up and enter the modern age.
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