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NI Assembly votes in favour of same-sex marriage, but DUP petition of concern blocks it

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According to the BBC’s Northern Ireland Political Editor ’53 Members of the Legislative Assembly backed the same-sex marriage motion while 52 MLAs voted against.’

It’s emerged that despite a majority vote in favour of marriage equality in Northern Ireland, same-sex marriage will not be legalised.

The issue of same-sex marriage was discussed for the fifth time in three years this afternoon, but today’s motion was defeated because the Democratic Unionist Party tabled a ‘petition of concern’. This means that the vote for same-sex marriage required separate majorities of both unionists and nationalists to succeed.

During the debate the DUP’s Lord Morrow said the term ‘equal marriage’ is “ultimately completely vacuous.”

He quoted US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito describing traditional marriage as “the comprehensive, exclusive permanent union that is intrinsically ordered to producing new life”.

Finance Minister Arlene Foster commented: “Just because you keep saying it is an equality issue doesn’t make it an equality issue,” adding “it is right to adopt a cautious approach and leave things as they are.”

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