Coalition For Marriage
NI FIRST MINISTER PLEDGES TO BLOCK REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE IN HER TERM
Dear Marriage supporter
Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, has said that her Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will continue to use its veto to stop same-sex marriage.
Mrs Foster said that her Party feel “strongly” that they should protect the definition of marriage.
Arlene Foster was speaking in the context of the Ashers case, where the NI Court of Appeal ruled that the family-run bakery broke discrimination law by declining to produce a pro-same-sex marriage campaign cake.
There has been a huge outcry in Northern Ireland against the ruling, with even leading liberal journalists declaring their shock and support for Ashers.
A minimum of 30 Assembly members (MLAs) from either the unionist or nationalist community can block legislation at Stormont using a ‘petition of concern’. The DUP has 38 MLAs and has previously tabled the petition to stop same-sex marriage. That said, in the most recent vote 51 unionists in total voted against redefining marriage – so opposition in Northern Ireland is by no means confined to the DUP.
The First Minister’s statement means that Northern Ireland’s marriage law is very unlikely to change in the current Assembly term, which runs until 2021.
Let’s remember that Northern Ireland is firmly on the side of world opinion. Only 20 of the 196 countries in the world have redefined marriage.
Support for marriage in USA unshaken by Supreme Court ruling
Encouraging news also from the USA where new polling shows that a majority of Americans continue to support traditional marriage.
The survey released last week by WPA Opinion Research found that 53% of the US public agree with the statement that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman”. Only 37% of people disagreed with traditional marriage.
The 53% figure is identical to the level of support last year before the US Supreme Court ruling in June 2015 which imposed same-sex marriage on all 50 States. It’s good to see that Americans are holding firm to the true definition of marriage, despite the dictatorial decision of five Supreme Court judges.
The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Roberts, dissented from last year’s ruling, saying “the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia… Just who do we think we are?”
Let’s continue to hold fast the true definition of marriage. Please help C4M if you can by making a donation to our work.
Your donations are secure and confidential.
Coalition for Marriage