Yesterday Sinn Féin lodged yet another motion with the Northern Irish Assembly that will be debated one month on from the date that the first same-sex marriages took place in England and Wales. The motion is rather more robust that the one that tried to bring to the house after the Irish Constitutional Convention decided that they would hold a referendum on the matter in the Republic of Ireland. It reads:
That this Assembly notes that other jurisdictions on these islands have moved forward with equal marriage rights for same-sex couples; believes that all couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should have the same legal entitlement to marry and to the protections, rights, obligations and benefits afforded by the legal institution of marriage; supports freedom of religion by allowing religious institutions to define, observe and practise marriage according to their beliefs, granting them the freedom whether or not to conduct same-sex marriages; calls on the Minister of Finance and Personnel to introduce legislation to guarantee that couples of any sex or gender identity receive equal benefit; and further calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to ensure that all legislation adheres to the Executive’s commitments to protect equality for all.
This motion allows the freedom of religion that everyone will no doubt go on about, allow freedom of the individual and bring about parity that was lacking from the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act. of course it leaves us a month to try and lobby unionist politicians that have thus far voted overwhelmingly against any legal advances for the LGBT community.