Same-sex marriage stopped at Stormont for the fifth time

Nov 4, 2015

Once again a motion calling for the redefinition of marriage in Northern Ireland has been stopped at Stormont.

By a very narrow margin – just one vote – MLAs backed same-sex marriage. But the DUP used a standard parliamentary mechanism called a petition of concern to block the motion.

You may have seen multiple news reports hailing this as a “symbolic victory” – but the media has conveniently forgotten that four previous attempts to start down the slippery slope of same-sex marriage have failed by an outright majority of MLAs.

And, as the DUP has said itself, the motion simply called on the Executive to bring in legislation and was not binding in any way.

We know that if the small number of activists who are pushing for this radical change manage to get their way, civil liberties and freedom of expression will certainly be damaged.

A glaring example is the shocking treatment of the McArthur family, owners of Ashers Baking Company, which dared to hold the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Even ahead of any change in the law, they have been dragged to court by a taxpayer-funded quango for declining to decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

Ashers’ legal challenge is set to be heard on 3 February by the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

Northern Ireland should resist the pressure and stand up for true marriage.