A bill extending marriage equality to Northern Ireland yesterday (22 July) cleared its final stage in Parliament; consideration of amendment.
The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill will come into law if lawmakers do not restore the country’s devolved legislature before 21 October.
It therefore ends the bill’s smooth ride into becoming law. Though, is has just one pit stop one its way to being passed; the Queen for royal assent.
It took under 45 minutes for the 14 lords to iron out the finishing touches to the measure.
Furthermore, Lord Duncan of Springbank, Conservative, was the main member in the meeting.
In addition, the parliamentary under-secretary in the Northern Ireland and Scottish offices said: ‘I have discovered in my two years in Northern Ireland how much I care about that place.
‘This is an unfortunate hijacking of what we need to be able to ensure in Northern Ireland.
‘But the will of this House will determine that,’ he said, according to the official report published after the meeting.
‘It is a good day for equality’
Moreover, an array of members of the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) have welcomed the news.
Nick Herbert MP, chair of the UK’s APPG on Global LGBT+ Rights, said: People in Northern Ireland simply have not had the same rights as those in the rest of the United Kingdom.
‘Today we celebrate another step towards full equality for all LGBT+ people in the UK.’
‘This historic vote means that in just a few months, LGBT people will able to marry in Belfast just as they already can in Cardiff, Edinburgh, London or Dublin,’ fellow member Conor McGinn said.
‘It is a good day for equality, politics and, most of all, love.’
‘A giant leap forward’
Moreover, Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland director, told Gay Star News his delight.
‘After months of working closely with a cross-party coalition of MPs and peers, MPs voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
‘This is a giant leap forward for human rights and equality.
‘Equal marriage is now firmly fixed within the Northern Ireland Bill.
‘We’re now within touching distance of seeing this legislation passed into law and having our rights realized.’