Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said she is disappointed but not deterred after a Conservative Party backbencher objected to a Private Member’s Bill seeking to introduce equal marriage to Northern Ireland.
Labour MP Conor McGinn’s Bill will now be delayed, receiving its second reading in the House of Commons on October 26.
“I very much welcome the efforts of Conor McGinn to further progress his Bill today but there is no question many Will be extremely disappointed with this further delay,” said Mrs Long.
“This is not the end of the fight for equality. Those of us who are committed to delivering fairness for our LGBT community will not be deterred by this move. We owe it to LGBT couples to continue struggling until the day they can say ‘I do’ and get the same recognition and respect under the law as any other married couple.
“The Conservative Party makes much of its credentials as a unionist party and its claim to be the party that brought equal marriage to the UK, yet today one of its MPs, whose constituents already have access to equal marriage, objected to those provisions being extended to all parts of the UK.
“The Conservative government still have an opportunity to give recognition to the will of the majority of people in Northern Ireland who back the introduction of equal marriage, including every major party here bar the DUP, by bringing forward a government bill to deliver.
However, regardless, it is clear that a substantial number of MPs will back the introduction of equal marriage provisions locally and, with or without government support, marriage equality will come to Northern Ireland – it is only a matter of when, not if.”