Sinn Féin has committed to bringing another same-sex marriage bill to a vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly – after being repeatedly blocked on the issue.
Though same-sex marriage is legal in England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, it continues to be blocked in Northern Ireland by the Democratic Unionist Party.
The DUP has repeatedly filed petitions of concern in the Stormont Assembly preventing equal marriage legislation from progressing – which means same-sex marriage remains banned, and those from elsewhere in the UK are treated as civil partnerships.
However, opponents from Sinn Féin have confirmed they plan to bring yet another motion on marriage equality back to the floor of the Assembly – in what will be the fifth attempt to enact equality.
A statement from the party said: “Sinn Féin gave a commitment to campaign for marriage equality and given the recent moves in both Britain and the South of Ireland we believe the time is right to extend these rights to the north.
“There has been a huge change in attitudes towards the LGB&T community as was expressed in the referendum in the South and also the support given to Pride events right across the North.
“Equality threatens no one and it is time all parties stood up for the rights of all citizens regardless of creed, colour or sexual orientation and allow the introduction of marriage equality.
“We have committed to bringing a motion on marriage equality back to the floor of the Assembly and we intend to meet that commitment in the new Assembly term.”
The DUP, founded by the late ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaigner Ian Paisley, claims that “marriage is between one man and one woman and once you redefine that you lose the essence of marriage itself”.