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Sinn Féin's same-sex marriage motion fails for third time

02 May 2014

SHUTTERSTOCK

Imposing: Stormont, the Parliament Buildings of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Imposing: Stormont, the Parliament Buildings of the Northern Ireland Assembly

A THIRD attempt within two years to secure legislation to permit same-sex marriage was rejected by the Northern Ireland Assembly when the motion, sponsored by Sinn Féin, was defeated on Tuesday by 51 votes to 43.

Despite securing the support of the SDLP, the DUP and the Ulster Unionists voted overwhelmingly against the proposal, which Sinn Féin described as supporting "freedom of religion by allowing religious institutions to define, observe, and practise marriage according to their beliefs, granting them the freedom whether or not to conduct same-sex marriages".

Proposing the motion for Sinn Féin, Caitriona Ruane MLA said that the party supported the right of all to social, economic, gender, and cultural equality.

The DUP MLA Mervyn Story pointed to the traditional view of marriage, as understood by people of many faiths and none, who did not want any change.

Strong opposition to the motion also came from the RC Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, and the six RC bishops with dioceses in Northern Ireland.

 

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