MPs in Northern Ireland vote in favour of same-sex marriage with a margin of 383 votes to 73

BY BEA VASQUEZ

The amendment – approved by the House of Commons – stated that Northern Ireland’s Secretary Karen Bradley needs to regulate the change of law by 21 October 2019 unless a new power-sharing executive is created prior to this date, according to a report by the The Independent this week.

The vote will allow the country to be in line with the rest of the UK as  Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK in which same-sex marriage isn’t permitted. 

Same-sex marriages were legalised in England and Scotland in 2013 and 2014, respectively.  

Prior to the vote, the government stated that these amendments in the law could only be made by the devolved Northern Irish government. However, the latter has been in political deadlock since the beginning of 2017.

Labour MPs, including MP Conor McGinn, who tabled the move, as well as Love Equality, a campaign for the introduction of legislation for equal marriage for same-sex couples, challenged the government’s position on the matter through an extensive and successful campaign. 

Stonewall’s Executive Director of Campaigns and Strategy, Paul Twocock said: 

“This is a huge step forward for LGBT equality in the UK and a tribute to those who have spent years building momentum and public support for equal marriage in Northern Ireland.

“It’s right that Westminster has today moved to end this long-standing injustice while the Northern Ireland Assembly is not sitting. It’s great Conor McGinn’s amendment has passed today to extend equal marriage to Northern Ireland.

“We hope the Lords will do the same, so same-sex couples in Northern Ireland will finally be able to celebrate and enjoy the same rights to marry as everyone else in the UK.”

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