Sinn Fein claims UK Government ‘assured’ same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland

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The British Government has denied reports it is prepared to overrule the DUP for same-sex marriages being legally approved in Northern Ireland. The region’s devolved parliament collapsed more than two years ago over a bungled renewable energy scheme. A lengthy impasse has ensued, with the DUP’s opposition to same-sex marriages making it impossible to reach a compromise to form a coalition. Conor Murphy, a former MP and MLA, has suggested that the UK Government was at one point prepared to intervene to break the impasse by presenting the issue of the UK-wide marriage equality (and Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriages are yet to be legally approved) in the Assembly. Murphy implied that the pledge was made to Sinn Fein during the last round of power-sharing talks in February 2018. “It has been the UK Government’s consistent position that the best way forward is for locally accountable politicians in Northern Ireland to make decisions that affect the lives of the people they serve,” a UK Government spokesperson stated.

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