MPs in the UK Parliament have passed a largely symbolic measure addressing the lack of equal marriage in Northern Ireland. The backbench amendment was submitted on Wednesday (October 24) by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn, who sought to address Northern Ireland’s bans on abortion and gay weddings. It passed by a vote of 207 to 117 on Wednesday evening.
The original plan published by the two MPs on Monday (October 22) would have directly repealed the measures that banned same-sex marriage and criminalised abortion in the region. However, the pair were forced to water down the plot on the day of the vote to comply with Parliamentary rules.
The revised amendment instead directs Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley to “issue guidance” to Northern Ireland government departments specifying “how to exercise their functions in relation to the incompatibility of the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland with [the region’s laws on marriage and abortion].”