• Equal Marriage Bill for Northern Ireland

    Conor McGinn MP announced today that he plans to introduce an Equal Marriage Bill for Northern Ireland.

    The move comes in the wake of the collapse of political talks at Stormont designed to restore devolved institutions and following a the Northern Ireland Secretary of State confirming that Government MPs would have a free vote on the matter at Westminster.

    The MP for St Helens North is working closely with the Love Equality campaign for civil marriage equality on the Bill, which is expected to be introduced in the House of Commons on March 28th 2018.

    Conor McGinn MP said:

    “My preference is for a fully functioning Executive and Assembly to deal with this issue, but LGBT couples in Northern Ireland should not be made to wait a moment longer for their basic rights.

    “That is why I am introducing this Bill at the earliest available opportunity. It will test the mood of the House of Commons and I am very confident that we will win any vote. It is then for the Government to legislate.

    “If my constituents in St Helens can marry the person they love, just like people in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin, then I don’t see why couples in Belfast should not be able to do the same.”

    Patrick Corrigan of the Love Equality campaign for civil marriage equality said:

    “The Love Equality campaign welcomes this move from Conor McGinn MP and is pleased to be working closely with him in the preparation of the Private Member’s Bill.

    “We will be working to build support for the Bill from MPs across the UK and are confident of a convincing majority in favour. We now look to Parliament to uphold the rights of people in Northern Ireland and to respond to overwhelming public support here.

    “However, the rights of LGBT people in Northern Ireland to be treated equally should not be left to the Private Member’s Bill process. We repeat our call on the UK Government to introduce legislation to bring Northern Ireland’s laws on marriage equality into line with the rest of the UK and Ireland.”

    The Love Equality campaign for equal civil marriage in Northern Ireland is led by the Rainbow Project, Amnesty International, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Cara-Friend, NUS-USI and HereNI.