Long asks when Minister intends to bring marriage equality legislation

Naomi Long MLA has submitted an urgent question asking when the Finance Minister intends to bring forward marriage equality legislation.

East Belfast MLA Mrs Long said with Northern Ireland being the only part of these islands to not have legalised equal marriage, the time had come for that to change, particularly given yesterday’s repeal of the gay blood ban.

“There is a strong level of support for equal civil marriage across Northern Ireland, including from a majority of MLAs. The last vote in the Assembly only failed due to the DUP’s veto, a practice Alliance tried to change in recent negotiations around the Justice ministry.

“Following last year’s referendum in the Republic on marriage equality, Northern Ireland is now the only part of these isles to not have legalised the practice. That is not only disgraceful, but hurtful for LGBT people and embarrassing for all of us. After yesterday’s action in relation to the gay blood ban, we need to continue the march to equal status for everyone in our society.

“I would urge the Finance Minister to bring forward legislation immediately on this vital issue and appeal to the DUP to not abuse the petition of concern mechanism again, to help bring true equality to Northern Ireland.”

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