Same-sex marriages (SSM) and civil partnerships
In Northern Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are also known as: the UK, United Kingdom (UK), and Britain. The term "Great Britain" refers to the main island which includes England, Wales and Scotland.
Certain powers, including the definition of who is eligible to marry, have been transferred from the UK government to the Northern Ireland Assembly. For this reason, the attainment of marriage equality in England and Wales during early 2014 has had no effect in the lives of loving, committed same-sex couples in Northern Ireland. They were still not able to marry.
The legalization of same-sex marriage (SSM) in Scotland and in England and Wales are described in separate essays.
The path towards marriage equality in Northern Ireland:
Some Roman Catholics. evangelical Christians, other conservative Christian faith groups., etc. in Northern Ireland have a very negative attitude towards same-sex marriage. So are two of the political parties there -- the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP; Unionists) and the Ulster Unionist Party -- which control the Northern Ireland Assembly in early 2014. As a result, Northern Ireland became the last, large, English-speaking country to adopt marriage equality.
As of 2014-MAY, the government recognized the relationships of loving, committed same-sex couples in Northern Ireland only as civil partners. This gave the couples the same rights, privileges, and protections as marriage, but without what many couples felt was the most important right of all: to be able to call their relationship a marriage. A marriage shows that the couple have made a lifetime commitment to support each other through health and sickness. To many, a civil partnership is just something that you sign at a government office that much of the public is not fully familiar with.
Minority parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly have tried three times in 18 months to implement marriage equality. They have failed each time. It would seem that the next logical step would be to abandon change through legislative action, and to seek equality through the courts.
However the matter was resolved in favor of equality during 2019-SEP, so that same-sex couples will be able to marry, starting on Valentine's Day in 2020.
Topics included in this section:
Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2014-MAY-03
Latest update: 2019-OCT-24
Author: B.A. Robinson