Northern Ireland bill passes first hurdle
The bill in the House of Commons to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has passed its first hurdle.
The ‘Ten Minute Rule’ bill, proposed on a cross-party basis by Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs, was debated and passed without a vote on its first reading. There is a long road from there to legislation though, so it is not guaranteed passage into law – especially as so much parliamentary time is being committed to the process of Brexit.
Same-sex marriage, albeit in slightly different legislative forms, exists in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales & England, but not Northern Ireland.
Reform in Northern Ireland has been blocked thus far by the DUP using powers given to them in the devolved Stormont Assembly.