NORTHERN IRELAND REJECTS GAY MARRIAGE
Wed, 3 October 2012A motion calling for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has been rejected by the territory's legislature.
On Monday, the joint motion by Sinn Fein and the Green party in favour of gay marriage was defeated by the Democratic Unionists (DUP) in the Legislative Assembly.
Steven Agnew, a Green party member of the Assembly, who brought the motion forward, said that “This motion is simply about equality.
"The State should recognise that what is important about a relationship is love and commitment - not the gender of the participants," he added.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the DUP came under pressure from Protestant churches not to change the marriage law and only three of 45 members of that party voted in favour of the motion.
In a letter to the Assembly, the Presbyterian Church said gay marriage would "effectively demolish generations and centuries of societal norms established on Judeo-Christian values".
Northern Ireland is part of the UK, but is a largely self-governing province.