Equal Marriage vote raises important questions

Stormont needs reformed

Today’s Equal Marriage vote at the Assembly secured majority support among MLAs.

However, the use of a Petition of Concern by the DUP vetoed the motion and  this now raises important questions, not only for the LGBT community, but for the democratic process in Northern Ireland.

This is the the fifth attempt in five years to legislate for Equality of Marriage.

Northern Ireland remains the only place on these islands where marriage equality is denied.

Equality of rights for all citizens must be non- negotiable and The Workers Party will continue to stand firm on this issue.

However, the narrow-minded and bigoted use of the Petition of Concern by the DUP has raised issues that should be of concern to all people in Northern Ireland.

The Petition of Concern is the embodiment of the institutionalised sectarianism that continues to hold this society to ransom.

The Workers Party has long been opposed to the abuse of the Petition of Concern and calls again for radical changes to the way in which the Assembly operates.

It is now clear that only a legal challenge to the denial of marriage equality in Northern Ireland will bring about the necessary change.

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