Northern Irish parliament approved marriage equality

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Northern Ireland could finally be given marriage equality after MPs overwhelmingly voted for adding such an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill. In an historic decision, the House of Commons voted 383-73 in favor of a clause to extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland, as it was the only part of the UK where it was still not legal. The clause will require secondary legislation, and will only come into force if power-sharing talks fail to restore devolution by October 21. Should the Stormont executive become functional by this deadline, the amendment will become void. The amendment was tabled by Labour MP Conor McGinn. MPs including the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)’s Ian Paisley had argued against the amendment. McGinn rebutted those claims by reminding MPs that the assembly voted in favor of marriage equality in November 2015, only for the decision to be overturned by the DUP using a petition of concern veto. “Far from usurping the assembly I am acting on a mandate from the assembly when it voted in favor of equal marriage,” he said.

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