Northern Ireland legislature rejects ‘gay marriage’…again
BELFAST, April 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For the second time in a year, the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland has rejected attempts to install “gay marriage” in the province, in a vote of 53 to 42. A similar motion was defeated by 50 votes to 45 last October.
Mike Judge, communications director for the Christian Institute said the motion was introduced by Sinn Fein following a decision by the Republic of Ireland to have a referendum on redefining marriage.
“But the proposal in the Assembly did not give the people of Northern Ireland any say in the matter – and that spoke volumes.”
But Judge said that the active opposition of Christians both in Northern Ireland and in Britain had a decisive impact. “It just shows that the plans to redefine marriage can be defeated when people are prepared to take action,” he said.
The vote against same-sex “marriage” will likely cause tension between Northern Irish MPs at Westminster and the efforts by the David Cameron government to force “gay marriage” into the rest of the country. Following the vote in the House of Commons in February passing the UK’s same-sex “marriage” legislation, it was revealed that of the 13 Northern Ireland MPs, only two voted in favour of changing the definition of marriage and nine against, with two abstaining.
The Stormont vote follows a demand by Amnesty International that the province be forced to accept “gay marriage” though activism in the courts, should the democratic route fail. Patrick Corrigan, program director for Amnesty in Northern Ireland, told the Guardian newspaper that a court challenge will be “inevitable” once the UK’s legislation passes, because international law is “clear” that individual territories within a country must recognise marriages from the rest of the country.
Homosexualist activists backed this, saying that they are prepared to go to the courts if the democratic process balks.
Rainbow Project spokesman Gavin Boyd, said, “As long as there exists a legal inequality between Northern Ireland and Britain, there will be legal challenges. That has been the route that has been most successful in the past.”
The attempt to create legal “gay marriage” was strongly opposed by several religious groups, including the Presbyterian Church who issued a letter to MLAs saying that the “renewed pressure” for a law, “both suppresses and skews a much-needed debate across all sections of our community on the role of the state in shaping a wide range of public and private relationships.”
“We are calling for a clear rollback from this single track campaign to a gracious, informed and highly respectful discussion, both politically and with wider society on the proper role of the state in the shaping of close interpersonal relationships.”
The Church of Ireland, a member of the Anglican Communion, wrote in a letter to MLAs that it reaffirms its previous stance that “marriage is part of God’s creation and a holy mystery in which one man and one woman become one flesh.”
“The Church of Ireland affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its purpose a union permanent and life-long, for better or worse, till death do them part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side. The Church of Ireland recognises for itself and of itself, no other understanding of marriage.”