Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill - Committee

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:15 pm on 1st February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Kilclooney Lord Kilclooney Crossbench 1:15 pm, 1st February 2019

My Lords, the Northern Ireland Assembly approved same-sex marriage but it was rejected by the procedures of the Northern Ireland Assembly by a petition of concern. When we drew up the Belfast agreement and the petition of concern was created, it was intended to be used so that one political party would not impose its will on another on issues such as economics, social policy or constitutional politics. I do not think it was ever considered the means for one community to impose its moral standards on another. The basic problem here is that the petition of concern has been used to negative the decision of the Assembly. What needs to be addressed is whether the petition of concern should be amended to ensure that it is not used by any religious minority to impose its will on others.