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

Birmingham Pride tops UK fundraising chart in first paid year

Organizers of Birmingham Pride in England’s second city made it a paid event for the first time this May and walked away with a profit for charity
No thumbnail available

Gay Olympic diving star Matthew Mitcham goes for gold

Tom Daley and Qiu Bo watch out, Australian Mitcham is a big gay gold hope in the individual 10m dive at the London Olympics
No thumbnail available

India's most mainstream queer film fest is back in Mumbai

Gay Star News interviews Pallav Patankar, co-director of Kashish Mumbai International Film Festival
From flab to fab: The ultimate six tips

From flab to fab: The ultimate six tips

Matthew Jenkin reveals his new toned body after months of blood, sweat and tears for his Olympic challenge
No thumbnail available

Church says Poland pledge to protect women will 'promote gays'

Polish Catholic bishops are furious after the country signs European convention on violence against women
No thumbnail available

Paris Hilton makes out with woman in Vegas, boyfriend flips out

River Viiperi cited for misdemeanor battery after punching the woman's boyfriend
No thumbnail available

You can be your own publicist

How paying attention to your PR can help you land your dream job, build your business or get the relationship you want
No thumbnail available

MEPs rally together for LGBT rights

President and 184 Members of the European Parliament sign pledge to uphold gay rights
No thumbnail available

The permanency of adoption: should blood trump attachment?

Peter Morris, a partner, and Sue Parkinson, a trainee solicitor, with UK-based law firm Irwin Mitchell, look at some of the legal complications that may be involved with adopting; some of which can arise after a child has already joined your home
No thumbnail available

Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina hospitalized

Women's and LGBT rights protestor hospitalized on seventh day of hunger strike in Russian prison