Legislate now, says pressure group as new survey shows overwhelming support for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland
Welcoming a poll by Ipsos MORI which found that 70% of people in Ulster backed same-sex marriage, Love Equality spokesman, John O’Doherty said: “It is clear that the people of Northern Ireland agree with us that marriage equality is one of the defining civil rights issues of our time and that it should immediately be made law.”
Last May, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, the DUP, blocked same-sex marriage from being legalised by using the petition of concern prior to Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) voting on the measure, to ensure that it would not go through, even if it secured enough votes at Stormont. It was the DUP’s fifth time to use such tactics.
The new poll shows that 50% of DUP supporters believe that same-sex couples should be able to marry.
“Those who continue to prevent marriage equality in Northern Ireland are not going to succeed,” said O’Doherty. “All they are doing before its inevitable introduction are merely enacting an injustice against their own citizens and worsening Northern Ireland’s already abysmal reputation regarding LGBT rights.”
The research found that 70% of people polled agreed with the statement that “homosexual couples should be allowed to marry each other,” marking a slight increase on the 2015 figure of 68%.
A total of 22% of those polled disagreed, compared to 27% in 2015, while 8% were in the ‘don’t know’ category compared to 6% last year.
Four in five (80%) respondents from a Catholic community background agreed that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, compared to 60% of those from a Protestant upbringing.