SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has joined other MPs at Westminster in congratulating the Republic of Ireland on becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to endorse the call for marriage equality in a popular vote.
Mr Durkan signed a parliamentary motion at Westminster today which also urges support for LGBT equality in Northern Ireland.
He said: “The decisive 62% vote in favour of same-sex marriage has served as a beacon of hope to the LGBT community around the world – including those who are still facing gross oppression and renewed persecution in some countries.
“It also represents a huge step forward on the journey towards equality and acceptance in Ireland.
“The legislation following on from this successful outcome needs to take that principle forward in terms of protecting other principles and respect for other rights – including those of churches and faith outlooks.
“The institution of marriage has not been diminished by this vote but the meaning of citizenship has grown. It is important to remember that civil marriage legislation can both ensure equality and respect faith.
“The public in the South have given a light of understanding which can help the debate in the North on civil marriage equality. It is also important that the Oireachtas should aid this further by the strength, quality and sensitivity of the legislation which it passes to reflect this historic determination by the people.”