NI: Poll shows NI backing for same-sex marriage

Patrick Corrigan
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director at Amnesty International

A majority of people in Northern Ireland would support the legalisation of same-sex marriage, a new poll has found.

An Ipsos Mori poll of 1,000 over-16s, conducted between 20 May-8 June, purportedly shows that 68 per cent of adults in Northern Ireland believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

After seeing the results, Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director for Amnesty International, said: “The people have spoken and it’s clear they don’t want Northern Ireland to be left behind on marriage equality.”

In May, 62 per cent of voters in Ireland endorsed a proposal to legalise same-sex marriage in a referendum.

The new poll indicates that there may be even greater support north of the Irish border.

The proposal finds cross-community support, with 75 per cent of respondents from a Catholic background backing the legalisation of same-sex unions as well as 57 per cent of respondents from a Protestant background.

Support is highest among those who voted in the recent general election for Sinn Féin (80 per cent), Alliance (79 per cent) and SDLP (61 per cent), while it is notably lower among UUP voters (49 per cent) and DUP voters (45 per cent).

The poll findings have spurred Mr Corrigan to call on Northern Ireland’s devolved government to “bring forward marriage equality legislation without further delay”.

In April, a closely-fought motion on same-sex marriage was defeated in the Northern Ireland Assembly by 49 votes to 47.

The motion was brought forward by Sinn Féin, but a Petition of Concern (POC), submitted by the DUP under the Assembly’s power-sharing rules, ensured it would not pass even with a majority.

It was the fourth time that the Assembly has rejected same-sex marriage since it was established in 1998.

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