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30 April 2013

Northern Ireland votes for marriage

Northern Ireland votes for marriage

Yesterday the Northern Ireland Assembly voted for the second time in six months on a motion in respect of same-sex marriage. For the second time a vote was returned in favour of marriage and against its redefinition. Yesterday's motion was defeated by 53 votes to 42.

This motion was proposed by Sinn Fein in light of a recent vote at a constitutional convention which purported to show support for same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland. An amendment about religious freedom was put forward by the Alliance Party but this did not carry. Although slightly different from the last motion in October 2012, it was encouraging that more MLAs voted against redefinition this time.

The issue of same-sex marriage is a devolved matter and so Northern Ireland has the flexibility to determine what legislation, if any, is brought forward on this issue.

The Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland aligns with the billions of people around the world who recognise and respect marriage as between a man and a woman rather than the handful of countries that seek to redefine it. Family and marriage are foundational building blocks for everyone in society and must be protected and supported. We commend all those who stood for marriage yesterday.

We worked with our partners in the Coalition for Marriage, contacting MLAs and setting out the case for marriage. Thanks to those of you who joined us prayerfully and practically. It is vital that Christians continue to invest in marriage both inside and outside the Church. We must also continue to encourage our elected representatives to reflect the consistent view of the Catholic and Protestant churches here that marriage must be preserved for the well-being of all in our society.