Northern Irish church leaders want to wed same-sex couples


Northern Ireland has recently approved same-sex marriages allowing the civil institutions to register same-sex couples. But this decision did not include white weddings as it did in the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The Northern Irish church leaders who are pro-equality consider it to be totally unfair. While the major religious denominations in Northern Ireland oppose same-sex unions, smaller church groups are ready to perform white weddings for same-sex couples. The reverend Chris Hudson, the minister of All Souls Church, Belfast, said that churches in Northern Ireland should have the same freedom to either offer or decline to offer same-sex wedding ceremonies as they have in England, Wales and Scotland. Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International, said: “Freedom of religion is an important human right. The law should protect it for all churches and people of faith, whether they support or oppose same-sex marriage”. The UK government’s Northern Ireland secretary, Julian Smith, said: “We now want to ensure that religious bodies are able to choose whether or not to offer same-sex religious marriage, and do not unlawfully discriminate if they refuse to solemnize marriages because of the sex or sexual orientation of the couple”


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