Tomorrow, I am co-sponsoring a bill that would bring Marriage Equality to Northern Ireland. Labour MP Conor McGinn has proposed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Bill which will be coming to the House of Commons on tomorrow (Wednesday 28th March). My fellow co-sponsors on the bill are Conservative MP Nick Herbert and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas.
The legislation would allow same-sex couples in Northern Ireland to get married and would bring the law in line with England, Wales and Scotland.
Delivering same-sex marriage in England is one of the proudest achievements of the Liberal Democrats’ time in coalition government.
The Bill received cross-party support from local parties in the province where the legislative assembly had previously voted in favour of it, but with the collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly it has fallen to the Westminster Parliament to address the issue.
Delivering same-sex marriage in England is one of the proudest achievements of the Liberal Democrats’ time in coalition government - but sadly many couples in Northern Ireland are not allowed to marry the person they love.
I’d much rather that this decision was taken by local politicians in Belfast, but given that it doesn’t seem the Assembly will be up and running again soon, I believe that Westminster MPs are right to change the law to provide marriage equality for everyone.
It is a real honour and a privilege to be sponsoring this legislation. I hope that all parties will now support it and make sure it becomes law as quickly as possible so that everyone, in all parts of the United Kingdom, no matter where they live or who they love, can get married.
Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley said the Government would allow a free vote due to it being a matter of conscience.