Poll finds majority in Northern Ireland support equal marriage

By agency reporter
September 19, 2017

A new poll released by Northern Ireland polling and market research company, Lucidtalk, has revealed that a majority (61 per cent) of the population are in favour of same-sex marriage. This includes 91 per cent of those who support republican parties, and 93 per cent of those who support neither republican nor unionist parties. Northern Ireland Humanists has again called for same-sex marriage to gain legal recognition.

In 2016, a vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly ended with a majority in favour of legally recognising same-sex marriage, but this outcome was blocked by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) using what is known as the ‘petition of concern’, a veto mechanism originally implemented to prevent republican and unionist political parties from passing laws to harm one another.  In the 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly elections, the DUP won 28 seats, two short of what it would need to block same-sex marriage again without support from other unionist parties. However, the Northern Ireland Assembly has yet to re-convene following the collapse of power sharing between the unionist DUP and republican Sinn Féin.

Northern Ireland remains the only part of the United Kingdom which does not give same-sex couples the right to marry. In 2013 and 2014, both the UK Parliament and Scottish Parliament passed laws to legalise same-sex marriage. This was followed in 2015 by a constitutional referendum in the the Republic of Ireland which showed 70 per cent for marriage equality.

Humanists UK and Northern Ireland Humanists is currently taking a legal case to secure legal recognition for humanist marriages in Northern Ireland. 

Boyd Sleator, Northern Ireland Humanists coordinator, said, "A majority of people in Northern Ireland support marriage equality, and so do a majority of our elected representatives. The only reason same-sex marriage is not already legal in Northern Ireland is due to a veto power in the hands of a few legislators with a religious agenda. However, we remain optimistic that change is around the corner, and Northern Ireland Humanists is working hard to ensure that, if Northern Ireland can get the Assembly working again, that same-sex marriage legislation will be passed."

Humanists UK https://humanism.org.uk/

[Ekk/6]

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