NI assembly to debate same-sex marriage for fifth time

The Northern Ireland assembly is set to debate redefining marriage for a fifth time, despite similar attempts being defeated four times since 2012.

MLAs from the SDLP, Sinn Féin and the Green Party have put forward a motion calling for the Executive to introduce same-sex marriage legislation. It is expected to be debated on Monday 2 November.

Redefining marriage was most recently voted upon in April this year. MLAs defeated that motion by 49 to 47, with three abstentions.

Four defeats

MLAs also voted against same-sex marriage in 2012, 2013 and last year.

In August, Sinn Féin said that “given the recent moves in both Britain and the South of Ireland we believe the time is right to extend these rights to the north”.

In May, the Republic of Ireland held a referendum on redefining marriage.


A change to Ireland’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage was backed by 62 per cent of voters, with 38 per cent opposed.

Concerns had been raised before polling day about intimidation of ‘No’ voters, with pictures appearing on social media of pro-traditional marriage posters being taken down in Dublin.