Long hails historic day after Parliament vote

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MEP has said today is a historic day, after MPs voted to extend equal marriage to Northern Ireland if an Executive is not reformed by October 21.

MPs voted 383-73 in favour of the amendment, brought by Labour’s Conor McGinn, in the House of Commons. It means equal marriage will be extended to Northern Ireland by October 21, unless an Executive is in place.

“This is truly a historic day and I want to pay tribute to all those who have fought over the years for equality of rights for everyone in our society,” said Mrs Long.

“This is the result of a lot of hard work from campaigners, politicians and the community. Added to the passing of an amendment extending women’s reproductive rights to Northern Ireland under the same scenario with the lack of an Executive, our society has taken its next step towards being dragged into the 21st Century.

“This does not change the fact we need the Assembly back as soon as possible to deal with a wide range of other issues, including health, education and infrastructure. However, it does make certain any restored Assembly must have the capacity to legislate for equal marriage.

“Alliance wanted this addressed on the floor of the Assembly rather than via Westminster, however, our priority is that it happens. Thanks to this amendment, today we have moved a bit closer to the modern, diverse and welcoming Northern Ireland we all want to see.”