Marriage equality campaigners in Northern Ireland are saving the date for same-sex marriage law to come into effect by January 2020, perfect timing for ‘New Year wedding bells’. The deadline is expected as Lord Robert Hayward, a Conservative Peer, plans to make an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill this week.
“We are confident that the necessary changes can be made within three months,” said Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International and part of the Love Equality coalition, in a press release.
The Northern Ireland’s Love Equality campaign are urging House of Lords Peers and MPs to show support for the amendment to secure the deadline. Lord Hayward has drafted the amendment with the help of the campaigners.
Conor McGinn MP stated, “This week, both Houses of Parliament have a chance to do the right thing by the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland”. However, there were fears the DUP would attempt to block the House of Commons decision.
In 2013, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act was brought into law in England and Wales. Yet proper regulatory changes did not come into effect until 2014. Northern Ireland’s Love Equality is pushing ahead with a three-month target to introduce the necessary changes for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
With a vote of 383 to 73 last week, Members of Parliament (MPs) decided to legally accept the Government’s changing of the laws by October 21 2019. This is dependent upon whether the devolved Northern Ireland Executive has not been re-established by this date. They have pledged to follow through once the Northern Ireland Bill becomes law.
The Bill enters its report stage and third reading on Wednesday. It will then move to the Commons on Thursday for the anticipated final vote.
Corrigan added, “We expect Thursday to be our Yes Equality moment for marriage equality in Northern Ireland.”
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