Peer drops bid to impose same-sex marriage on NI

A bid to impose same-sex marriage on Northern Ireland has been dropped in the House of Lords.

The amendment to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registrations etc) Bill was withdrawn by Lord Hayward following impassioned debate.

A separate amendment to the Bill, which interfered with the rules protecting the Church of England and Church in Wales from performing same-sex ceremonies, was also withdrawn.

‘Unravelling devolution’

During the debate, Lord Kilclooney spoke out against the imposition of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

He said: “Marriage is a devolved issue for Northern Ireland as it is for Scotland.”

“It is not a question of the national Parliament imposing its will on a devolved state and we must be careful to maintain the right of devolution which I strongly support and in which I was involved in the negotiation of the Belfast Agreement.”

God’s Word

Emphasising biblical truth, Lord McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown added: “I make no apology for stating that I genuinely believe with all my heart and with deep conviction that in the Scriptures of holy truth, it clearly points out that marriage is a covenant entered into by one man and one woman.

“Before we started this debate, we started with a reading of God’s Word. And after the reading of God’s Word, we prayed, and we asked God to guide us in our counsel, and that we would be guided according to his will.

“According to his will is in his Word.”

He added that God’s Word is authoritative and it should be respected in the debate on marriage.

‘Unnecessary’

Speaking on the Government’s opposition to Lord Faulkner’s amendment on protections for the Church of England and Church in Wales, Baroness Williams called it “an unnecessary amendment”.

The Minister explained that the law already allows same-sex marriages to take place in religious premises if the church governing body has “expressly consented”.

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