Northern Ireland Rejects Gay Marriage…Again!

So the Northern Irish Assembly has voted to reject gay marriage again. This makes it the third time as a nation we have thrown away the chance to give real equality to to our gay brothers and sisters. This is a deeply troubling in my opinion.

This makes Northern Ireland the only part of the UK not to allow gay marriage. Do you ever feel we are behind the times?

Two gay men in suits looking at the camera

A Sectarian Debate

Sinn Fein brought up the debate, stating, correctly, that it was an equality issue. However, the DUP saw it as an attack on the institution of marriage in general. The party put up a petition of concern, which meant that both communities representatives had to pass the bill (instead of a one community swamping the other with their votes, with the other having to grin and bear it)

The DUP needn’t have worried however, as the bill was rejected by eight votes.

All the nationalist MLA’s who took part in the vote backed gay marriage, while most unionists rejected it, with only four of them voting in favour.

A Clear Obligation Under International Law

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International came out with, what I thought was a very wise comment when hearing of the rejection.

“Politicians in Northern Ireland who continue to block marriage rights for same-sex couples are like latter-day King Canutes, trying in vain to hold back the tide of equality.

“States may not discriminate with regards to the right to marry and found a family, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“That obligation is clear in international law.”

Two fully clothed gay men holding each other

This is the point. It may take longer in Northern Ireland to get this law passed than in other places, but it will undoubtedly come. One wonders whether someone will take legal action against this discrimination? I am no lawyer, so I have no idea whether it would work, but it does make you think.

Until the day comes that gay marriage is legal, Escort Ireland will back the cause 100%.

In the end, we are just people. Gay people aren’t harming anyone by getting married. Why on earth should they be stopped?

Martin Ward
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