Northern Ireland says ‘I do not’ to gay marriage proposal

Stormont rejects equal marriage motion after pressure from Protestant church

Northern Ireland says ‘I do not’ to gay marriage proposal
02 October 2012

Gay marriage proposals have been rejected by members of Northern Ireland’s Stormont assembly.

The motion tabled by the Green Party and Sinn Fein stated that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and have equal rights to straight couples.

However, the bill was dropped after it failed to get the cross-community majority required by a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) petition.

Green Party representative Steven Agnew told the BBC that he was disappointed the proposals were blocked but insisted the ‘narrow defeat’ was a ‘significant step towards gaining marriage equality for the LGBT community in Northern Ireland’.

He added: ‘There are many who argued, both before and during the debate, that the "vast majority of people in Northern Ireland" are against marriage equality; however, today’s debate puts an end to that argument.

‘Close to 50% of elected members of the assembly publicly declared their support for same-sex marriage by voting in favor of this motion today.’

Only three unionist assembly members out of 45 voted in favor of marriage equality after the Protestant church pressured Stormont not to legalize gay marriage.

In the letter, the Presbyterian Church urged the assembly not to ‘demolish a fundamental building block of society’ by voting in support of gay marriage at Stormont.

It added that the issue is ‘not merely an issue of conscience for Christian people and Christian churches, but a very significant one for the whole of society’, claiming it would ‘effectively demolish generations and centuries of societal norms established on Judaeo-Christian values’.

Westminster is currently consulting on whether to allow gay couples in England and Wales to marry, while in Scotland the SNP government has announced plans to bring forward a bill on same-sex marriage.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Obama must use his Africa visit to champion gay rights

A Nigerian argues Obama would be doing Africa a favor by pointing out gay rights will help the continent develop
No thumbnail available

Guide to help gay men avoid condom ‘mishaps’

Terrence Higgins Trust launch an online guide with tips to teach men the best way to use condoms
No thumbnail available

Africa takes big step in trying to attract gay tourism

They hope to bring more education, awareness and visibility to LGBT travel in Africa
No thumbnail available

Nepal’s gay icon passes on the baton

Sunil Babu Pant, founder of the gay rights movement in the former Himalayan kingdom, relinquishes leadership of the organization he established 12 years ago after ‘protracted persecution’
No thumbnail available

Elton John and David Furnish show off new son in family portrait

Singer 'much less nervous' about the arrival of their second child
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

70% of marriages between gay Mormon men and straight women end in divorce

Survey flies in the face of TLC's controversial special My Husband's Not Gay
No thumbnail available

Queen wanted anti-gay cleric Abu Hamza arrested

In a private conversation, Queen Elizabeth II raised concerns over why the British government could not arrest the Muslim cleric
No thumbnail available

J-Lo’s boyfriend called gay for ‘sexting’ trans women

Take a look at the way tabloids reacted to the 'revelation' that Jennifer Lopez's dancer boyfriend Casper Smart asked a trans model for selfies
No thumbnail available

My Gay Toronto: Christina Zeidler on Canada’s most cosmopolitan city

Ahead of Toronto Pride, which kicks off on the 19 June, the proprietor of The Gladstone Hotel shares her top tips on this cultural melting pot, from rooftop gardens and Caribbean festivals to the city's thriving alt-queer underground