Conservative MP’s vote delays legislation on gay marriage in North

Labour MP Conor McGinn, born in Armagh, calls for government to ‘do the right thing’

South Armagh-born Conor McGinn and other campaigners have urged British prime minister Theresa May to act unilaterally to introduce equal marriage.

South Armagh-born Conor McGinn and other campaigners have urged British prime minister Theresa May to act unilaterally to introduce equal marriage.

 

The British government has delayed legislation put forward by a Northern Ireland-born Labour MP that would have cleared the way for the introduction of gay marriage in the North – the last part of the United Kingdom not to have it.

A Private Member’s Bill put forward by the South Armagh-born MP Conor McGinn failed to get approval to move beyond its second reading in the House of Commons on foot of a solitary objection from a Conservative MP.

His legislation will return to the Commons for a further second reading in October. However, Mr McGinn and campaigners urged British prime minister Theresa May to act unilaterally to introduce equal marriage.

Crucial role

However, the Democratic Unionist Party, which plays a crucial role in keeping the Conservatives in power since May lost her majority in last year’s UK general election, is opposed to gay marriage.

“I’m calling on the Government to get off the fence and do the right thing by the people of NI and the thousands of same-sex couples who are denied their right to marry by allowing this Bill to proceed,” declared the Labour MP.

Expressing disappointment, Gavin Boyd, the policy director for the Rainbow Project, told GayStar News: “This will be the tactic going forward. We imagine the exact same strategy will be used again.”