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US ruling ‘a boost to same-sex marriage’

BY STEVEN ALEXANDER

Campaigners in Northern Ireland have vowed to continue fighting for same-sex marriage after a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court struck down the legal definition of marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

It means married gay couples are entitled to the same entitlements as in traditional marriages.

In an Assembly vote on Tuesday, MLAs decided to prevent same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

It means that gay marriages in Britain will be treated as civil partnerships here — and is likely to face a legal challenge.

John O’Doherty, chairman of the Equal Marriage NI campaign, said the US ruling was a momentous day for the gay community.

“In striking down these unlawful and discriminatory barriers to the full and equal participation of same-sex attracted people in society, the Supreme Court has changed forever how the law must regard same-sex couples,” he said.

“The growing consensus around the recognition of same-sex marriages cannot be ignored.”

He said that in Northern Ireland, the recent NI Life and Times Survey found that 57% of respondents favoured recognising the validity of same-sex marriages.

“The Equal Marriage NI campaign will continue to lobby MLAs on the need to introduce legislation recognising same-sex marriages. We are greatly encouraged by rulings of the Supreme Court we will achieve marriage equality in Northern Ireland by one way or another.”

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