Same-sex marriage bill for the North passes first stage in Westminster

Same-sex marriage bill for the North passes first stage in Westminster

A Westminster bill calling for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has passed its first parliamentary stage.

Conservative peer Lord Hayward tabled the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Bill in the Lords this afternoon.

In line with British parliamentary procedure, the formal first reading of the private member's bill was brief and was not accompanied by a debate.

Peers will have a chance to voice their opinions on the proposed legislation on its second reading.

Labour MP Conor McGinn will table an identical bill in the British House of Commons tomorrow.

Lord Hayward and Mr McGinn are spearheading efforts to legislate for the contentious issue at Westminster amid ongoing political deadlock over the matter at Stormont.

The ban on same-sex marriage is one of the disputes at the heart of the power-sharing impasse in Belfast, with the Democratic Unionists resisting Sinn Féin calls for a law change.

Ahead of formally introducing the bill today, Lord Hayward said: "It gives me great honour to launch the Westminster campaign for equal marriage rights in Northern Ireland in the House of Lords."


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