Current Affairs

LGBT group says Northern Ireland gay marriage referendum is not the answer

Joseph McCormick April 30, 2015
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The largest LGBT support group in Northern Ireland has rejected calls for a referendum on same-sex marriage.

The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness earlier this week said the country should hold a referendum on same-sex marriage.

It remains the only country in the United Kingdom that does not allow same-sex marriage. The Assembly in Stormont held a vote on the issue on Monday, but it failed to secure enough votes.

The DUP had issued a “petition of concern” which would automatically block same-sex marriage even if MLAs had voted in favour.

The DUP also rejected the calls for a referendum.

However, the Rainbow Project, an LGBT support group, said that a referendum has no “no legal binding effect”, and would not necessarily legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

John O’Doherty, the director of the Rainbow Project, said: “Even if the public were to vote in favour of marriage equality, the Assembly would have to pass enabling legislation and as we have seen this week, the Assembly is incapable of making this necessary legal change.”

The Republic of Ireland is due to vote in a referendum on introducing same-sex marriage next month.

The DUP have notoriously blocked LGBT rights issues on many occasions. 

They are the only one of the main Northern Ireland parties not to mention LGBT rights at all in their manifesto ahead of the general election.

More: civil partnership, civil union, equal marriage, Gay, gay weddings, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, Rainbow Project, same sex weddings, Union, wedding

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