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UK, Northern Ireland: Marriage Equality Rejected by Assembly 51-43

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

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The Catholic Church got its way again in Northern Ireland, where the Assembly, led by the DUP, once again rejected a marriage equality bill.

Pink News reports:

It is the third time the assembly has voted down a same-sex marriage motion in 18 months, with stiff opposition from DUP and some UUP members. The motion had been tabled by six MLAs, from the Alliance, Sinn Fein and Green parties, but its passage was deemed unlikely after DUP tabled a petition of concern, hindering cross-party efforts to pass it. MLAs from the Social Democratic, NI21 and Labour parties also backed the motion, while the sole UKIP and Traditional Unionist Voice MLAs voted against. Two Alliance MLAs, Judith Cochrane and Trevor Lunn,voted against the motion despite their party supporting it.

This despite a poll last year showing 57% support marriage equality in the country.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland, UK.

UK, Northern Ireland: Ruling Party Once Again Blocks Debate on Marriage Equality

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

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Northern Ireland is falling farther and farther behind the times as its ruling party, the Democratic Unionist Party, once again has blocked even the debate of the marriage equality bill.

Pink News reports:

The DUP has once again tabled a petition of concern, using Assembly rules to effectively ban cross-party discussion of the measure. It will frustrate Sinn Fein, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the Alliance Party, NI21 and the Greens, who all support equal marriage. The DUP has continually resisted supporting LGBT equality across the board. First Minister Peter Robinson and Health Minister Edwin Poots have refused to lift Northern Ireland’s lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood.

Northern Ireland is now the only part of the United Kingdom that is not approved marriage equality. This seems blatantly unfair – does anyone know the process in the UK for bringing a lawsuit to force the issue?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland.

UK, Northern Ireland: Assembly Will Debate Marriage Equality

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

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Northern Ireland is getting ready to at least discuss marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

The Northern Ireland Assembly will debate equal marriage on 29 April in a motion filed by several MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly)…. The motion states: “That this Assembly notes that other jurisdictions on these islands have moved forward with equal marriage rights for same-sex couples; believes that all couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should have the same legal entitlement to marry”.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has not yet approved marriage equality, and even Ireland to the south has planned a referendum for next year. But the DUP has steadfastly blocked every attempt – will this time be any different?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland.

UK, Northern Ireland: Protests Held Over Lack of Marriage Equality

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

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LGBT activists in Northern Ireland are not happy that they can’t participate in the marriage equality festivities taking place across the channel.

Gay Star News reports:

Demonstrations are taking place this evening by LGBT campaigners in Northern Ireland who are highlighting how it’s the last remaining part of the UK where equal marriage is yet to be legalised. The Equal Marriage Northern Ireland Campaign is holding two demonstrations at Belfast City Hall and the Guidlhall Square in Foyle from 5-6pm…

“In the South of Ireland, a referendum is expected in the early part of 2015, and early opinion polls suggest a significant majority in favour. Twice before, an equal marriage motion has been debated in the Northern Ireland Assembly, losing by a small margin both times. We are demonstrating today, to remind our political leaders and representatives that we do not want to be left behind in the march toward full legislative equality for LGB&/T people and their families.” Northern Ireland is the only remaining UK nation where equal marriage has not been legalised.

Northern Ireland’s government is becoming more and more isolated as all the other governments around it move to pass marriage equality. How long can they hold out?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland.

UK: Britain to Recognize Overseas Weddings; Queen Signs Scotland Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

LondonA couple marriage equality stories out of Britain today.

First off, as of this morning, same sex couples legally married in other countries are now recognized as married in the UK.

On Top Magazine reports:

The British government will begin recognizing the marriages of gay couples who married overseas as of Thursday… “It’s like being turned into a pumpkin on the stroke of midnight,” Celia Kitzinger, who married her wife Sue Wilkinson in Canada in 2003, told BuzzFeed. “We’ll be sitting there in bed with a bottle of champagne and at the stroke of midnight we’ll turn into a married couple. We’re going away to a hotel, having a nice meal and then at midnight we’ll be wife and wife again!”

In related news, the Scotland law took a step closer to becoming reality.

Gay Star News reports:

Queen Elizabeth II has signed same-sex marriage into law in Scotland today (13 March). By the end of the year, Scottish gay couples will be able to unite in matrimony. It is the last step in the long battle to get the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill through parliament, making it an Act.

Northern Ireland, we’re waiting for you to get your act together.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Northern Ireland: Marriage Equality Lawsuit Threatened

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

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All of a sudden, Northern Ireland stands alone in banning marriage for same sex couples.

Gay Star News reports:

Northern Ireland gay rights groups are threatening to sue the government after they have become the only country in the UK not to have equal marriage. John O’Doherty, director of The Rainbow Project in Belfast and chair of Equal Marriage NI, told Gay Star News he applauded Scotland’s politicians for voting in favor of equality. ‘But it’s very frustrating when you consider Northern Ireland had the first ever civil partnership,’ he said.

South of the border, the independent Republic of Ireland is likely to get gay marriage in the next three years. O’Doherty said: ‘We will be the only country of these islands to still ban equal marriage.’

The Democratic Unionist Party has consistently blocked any progress towards marriage equality. So the courts may be the only option.

In related news, the Mayor of North Down says marriage equality in Northern Ireland is now inevitable.

The News Letter reports:

Speaking in the wake of the vote, councillor Muir said he was “not surprised” by the result; and when asked if it is a sure thing for the Province too, he was emphatic. “Yes,” he said. “Northern Ireland will have it within 10 years. Whether it’s through legislation or through the courts. It’s an inevitability. “I’m confident because I’m hopeful for Northern Ireland. I like Northern Ireland, and I know the people of Northern Ireland are very much progressive and aspirational for a new and inclusive future.” He added: “This could be done within the next year if the Assembly stood up to the mark and said: ‘We value all people within our society equally’.”

I agree – it’s only a matter of time now.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Northern Ireland.

UK, Northern Ireland: Gay Adoption Ban Lifted

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

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The ban on allowing same-sex couples to adopt has been lifted Northern Ireland.

Pink News reports:

Gay and unmarried couples may now apply to adopt in the same way that straight, married couples could before. The court decision to extend adoption rights to gay couples had been challenged by Health Minister Edwin Poots, who recently said he was “disappointed” at the UK Supreme Court for dismissing his latest legal challenge against adoption rights for same-sex couples. The Supreme Court said his department’s case did not meet the criteria for appeal.

While it’s good to see this bit of progress for gay rights in Northern Ireland, there’s still no official movement there toward marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

UK, Northern Ireland: Will Lack of Action on Marriage Equality Lead to Lawsuits?

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

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Garry Spedding thinks so. Reporting at Pink News, Spedding writes:

According to a recent survey published by the Northern Ireland Life & Times 57% of people in Northern Ireland believe that marriages between same-sex couples should be legally recognised, in the same way as opposite-sex marriages. Unfortunately, because the DUP have the ability to abuse a petition of concern in the Northern Ireland Assembly – effectively a veto on any motion or private members bill – the likelihood is that a legal challenge will drag Northern Ireland kicking and screaming into the 21st century and marriage equality.

It looks like Scotland will follow England and Wales by next spring, leaving Northern Ireland as the only place in the UK without marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland: Stormont Rejects Another Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

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In the wake of DOMA’s defeat yesterday, the legislature in Northern Ireland defeated a bill that would have recognized gay marriages from England and Wales. Pink News reports:

Last night the country’s Stormont Assembly voted against recognising the same-sex marriage bill for England and Wales, which is currently nearing the end of its journey in the House of Lords. Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) passed a Legislative Consent Motion which excluded recognising most of the provisions of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. It means same-sex marriages in England and Wales will be treated as civil partnerships in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland may be the last to the party…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland: Poll Says 57% Now Support Marriage Equality

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

titleAs the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party blocks all progress on a marriage equality bill, the Northern Irish people are showing their support in a new poll. Pink News reports:

According to a survey published today by the Northern Ireland Life & Times 57% of people in Northern Ireland believe that marriages between same-sex couples should be legally recognised, in the same way as opposite-sex marriages… Full results reveal that 57% of people surveyed support full marriage equality in Northern Ireland whilst only 32% were opposed, with 11% undecided. Results also showed that 49% of men and 64% of women believe same-sex marriage should be legally recognised with only 37% male and 28% female responding that they disagreed.

If both Scotland and the UK Parliament passed marriage equality else, it would put a lot of pressure on Northern Ireland to do the same. Let’s hope?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.