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Politics – NI same-sex union cases dismissed

October 2017

Belfast’s High Court has dismissed two cases seeking to have same-sex marriage introduced to Northern Ireland (NI).

In one case, an anonymous man known as applicant X, who entered into a homosexual marriage three years ago, sought a declaration that this union is valid under NI law. In the other, two couples who are in civil partnerships also challenged the law, claiming that they are entitled to get married in NI.

Handing down his ruling on the first case, Judge O’Hara stressed that the law on marriage fell under the remit of the Northern Ireland Assembly, adding that as a member of the judiciary, he must ‘respect the separation of powers’.

In the second unsuccessful case, Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles, and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane, argued NI’s marriage law contravenes their right to marriage and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Callum Webster, the Christian Institute’s NI officer, said he was encouraged that the law on marriage has been upheld’. Same-sex marriage has been blocked by the Northern Ireland Assembly five times in the last five years.