Stormont majority backs same-sex marriage for first time

The Assembly insisted that methods for reviewing refused expenses claims is 'entirely open and transparent'
The Assembly insisted that methods for reviewing refused expenses claims is 'entirely open and transparent'

For the first time a majority of Stormont Assembly members have voted to legalise same sex marriage in Northern Ireland, but the law change will not happen due to a voting mechanism triggered by the Democratic Unionists.

The “petition of concern” tabled by the DUP at the outset of the debate in Parliament Buildings, Belfast meant the proposal could only succeed if a sufficient number of both unionist and nationalist MLAs backed it.

While not enough unionists voted yes, the slim overall majority (50.5%) in favour has nevertheless been hailed as a symbolic victory by campaigners for same sex marriage in the region.

It is the first time a majority has backed the proposal on what was the fifth occasion the issue has been voted on in the Assembly.