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MPs vote to legalise same sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland

MPs vote to legalise same sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland”

The same-sex marriage amendment legislation, tabled by Labour MP Conor McGinn, was approved by 383 votes to 73, a majority of 310.

Following on from the news that Westminster has passed an amendment that would see same-sex marriage being legalised in Northern Ireland, the House of Commons has also voted on an amendment that obligates the Government to liberalise Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

While these votes are seen by many as monumental, they don't automatically mean laws will be put in place in Northern Ireland to allow for abortion and same-sex marriage.

MPs have tabled a series of other amendments including bringing abortion legislation into line with the rest of the United Kingdom - and voted overwhelmingly to allow women the choice by 332 votes to 99.

Abortions up to the 24-week limit have been legal in mainland Britain since 1967, but women in Northern Ireland can only have the procedure when the mother's life is deemed to be in danger. The law on this issue should be a decision for the people of Northern Ireland and their elected representatives, not for MPs in Westminster to decide. He appealed to Catholics to contact their Member of Parliament requesting that they vote against the proposal as a matter of urgency.

Mr McGinn said his proposals would be "an interim provision" if the assembly failed to reconvene by October.

"The size of the majority pays tribute to the campaigning of many in Northern Ireland and the determination of Labour MP's Conor McGinn, Diana Johnson and Stella Creasy amongst others".

"This is truly a historic day and I want to pay tribute to all those who have fought over the years for equality of rights for everyone in our society", said Mrs Long.

Earlier, he said: "At the minute the executive and the assembly exists in the ether or as a concept, not a reality".

The regulations will come into force by October 21 unless an Executive is formed before this date.

Moray MP Douglas Ross and Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid voted against both moves.

"This is a huge step forward for LGBT equality in the U.K. and a tribute to those who have spent years building momentum and public support for equal marriage in Northern Ireland", said Paul Twocock, Executive Director of Campaigns and Strategy at U.K. LGBT charity Stonewall, in a statement immediately after the amendment's announcement.

In his statement, Bishop Sherrington said such a change would leave Northern Ireland with a significantly different abortion framework to the Republic of Ireland, where, following the recent referendum, there is a twelve-week limit.

MP Creasy told her fellow MPs: "How much longer are the women of Northern Ireland expected to wait?"

He added: "While we will always defend the principle of devolution, in the circumstances of the vote this was the right thing to do".

The Primate of All Ireland has said attempts by MPs in Westminster to introduce "abortion by the backdoor" in the absence of Northern Ireland's Assembly underlines the "urgent" need for a restoration of Stormont.

"I for one am not going to let them down and I hope colleagues in this House don't let them down".



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