Foyle MLAs disappointed at marriage bill defeat

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Foyle MLAs have expressed their disappointment at the defeat of an Assembly motion which would have given equal recognition to gay marriage.

The motion was debated at Stormont on Monday following a motion tabled by Sinn Féin and the Green Party. It was backed by the SDLP but defeated by the DUP and the UUP who tabled a petition of concern requiring the vote to have cross community support.

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin said; “Sinn Féin tabled this motion calling for the provision of legislation to ensure marriage equality for the LGBT community.

“Every citizen should enjoy the same rights and entitlements under State law and that includes those in relation to marriage. What churches do is a matter for churches, but the State needs to treat everyone with equality.”

Speaking during the debate, SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said: “It is important that those who hold genuine concerns about same-sex marriage are assured that it will not detract, devalue or diminish either from their own moral principles nor the theological tenants of religious institutions.

“It is not a case of a shotgun marriage between theological tradition and ever changing social and societal compositions. Each has a place of respect and the right of respect.”