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MPs vote to force gay marriage and abortion on to Northern Ireland

August 2019

DUPs Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP SOURCE DUP/Flickr
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MPs in Westminster have voted to legalise gay marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland if devolution at Stormont is not restored by 21 October.

Under the current law, gay marriage is not legal in the province and abortion is only legal in limited circumstances.

The Democratic Unionist Party has said the votes at Westminster breach the devolution settlement and make it more difficult to restore its power-sharing government with Sinn Féin.

The votes in the House of Commons came as part of a debate about a bill aimed at keeping Northern Ireland running in the absence of devolved government.

MPs backed the same-sex marriage amendment by 383 votes to 73, while the abortion amendment was backed 332 to 99.

Sinn Féin supports gay marriage and more liberal abortion laws, so these votes in London give little incentive for them to restore devolution.

If the Northern Ireland Assembly has not been restored by 21 October, the government must bring regulations to the Westminster Parliament to amend the law in Northern Ireland.

The Christian Institute’s Northern Ireland Officer Callum Webster, said, ‘It is tragic that MPs from outside Northern Ireland actually cheered the passing of this legislation.

‘The public in Northern Ireland will be appalled at how devolution has been so swiftly ditched to force through the agenda of the Westminster elite’.