The Christian Institute is calling for Northern Ireland to be excluded from the Civil Partnerships bill. The Institute thinks the government should not include Ulster in the legislation and has called for the “immoral” bill to be dropped.
Members of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) protested outside the Christian Institute in the week ending 25 September. NIGRA’s P A MagLochlainn told the Belfast Telegraph that the gay community deserves the rights and responsibilities offered in the legislation, and that the Institute is wrong to link it with Christian ideas of marriage. “We want to
strengthen our relationships so there is a stable family unit. All we want is the same legal rights as everyone else,” he told the newspaper. “The Christian Institute also say that there are not many gay people in Northern Ireland. That is untrue. Because of all the prejudice a large number of gay people are too afraid to disclose their sexuality.”
Meanwhile, the Social Environmental Alliance party in Northern Ireland is calling on the gay community and other voters to make their voice heard and ensure the province is included in the bill. The Alliance says a variety of parties including the Democratic and Ulster Unionists and the SLDP will not stand against the idea of blocking Northern Ireland from the Civil Partnerships bill. “Unfortunately, the support for gay rights that was so evident on the streets of Belfast during the Gay Pride march is not reflected in our MPs,” a spokesperson for the party said. “It is important that those who want to keep Northern Ireland back in the 1950s are not allowed to stop this law from applying here.”
The bill is set to enter the second reading phase in the House of Commons in early October.