NORTHERN IRELAND: Same-Sex Marriage Ban To Be Challenged In Court

Via the Belfast Telegraph:

The first two gay couples to enter into civil partnerships in the UK will this week mount a High Court challenge to Northern Ireland’s same-sex marriage ban, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal. Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles will be joined by Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane to seek a judicial review of the ban. Both couples cemented their relationships in civil partnerships a decade ago in Belfast City Hall. But while Northern Ireland was the first place in the UK to recognise civil partnerships, it is now the only part of the UK and Ireland that has not legalised same-sex marriage. “We are unable to enter into a marriage solely because we live in Northern Ireland,” Ms Close stated. In a Facebook post, Ms Close wrote: “This year, December 19th, 2015 Shannon and I, along with Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane, will celebrate 10 years of our civil partnerships. “Northern Ireland was the first place in the UK to recognise civil partnership legislation and is now the last place in the UK and Ireland to recognise equal marriage.

Northern Ireland’s legislature has refused to consider same-sex marriage four times, most recently in late April. Two weeks ago over 20,000 marched in Belfast to demand marriage equality.

  • shellback

    “20,000 marched”
    That makes me think of the typical NOM hate rally, except for the three trailing zeros.

  • rextrek1

    Northern Ireland better get it’s act together…….o MISS OUT on ALL the TOURISM dollars…….heck, 8yrs ago when we went to Ireland – we took the east / southern tour……seems like MANY avoided the North…DON’T be giving people More reasons to avoid the north…..now!

  • bkmn

    Northern Ireland, the Alabama of the United Kingdom.

    • BobSF_94117

      Belfast is sister-cities with Nashville.

  • Stev84

    This is all the DUP’s fault. A party of Christian radicals and theocrats that is dominated by a tiny Calvinist church:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/inside-the-dup-domination-by-free-presbyterian-church-and-orange-order-laid-bare-30330698.html

    “According to the research, just under a third of DUP members (30.5%) are Free Presbyterians […] the 2011 census recorded that there were 10,068 Free Presbyterians in Northern Ireland – just 0.6% of our total population.”

    • Gene

      they are a bunch of Freaks. Most Northern Irish are protestant, and most Protestants are Presbyterian, but, how this tiny faction (Ian Paisley was their leader, and his death made the world a better place) got this much controll is a mystery to me.
      .
      They are living in the past in theological terms, and are the most radical fringe of a radical fringe of a radical fringe. they are just….nuts. and they will NEVER change.

      I know a lot of people in NI, and have been there a couple times. Most people are embarassed by their not having marriage equality, be they Catholic or Protestant, and young protestants have let the leaders of the party know they are not happy, but,these old stiff backed fools..so few of them, but so well placed, will NOT yield. Its going to take the courts…but, it will happen.

    • Bill_Perdue

      It’s not a religious question, although you’re correct about the role of the Free Presbyterian cult.

      Ultimately it’s a political question interconnected with the question of full Irish independence and the struggles of all working people and it will be solved by the left, including Sinn Féin and other socialists and Irish nationalists.

  • barracks9

    “Just click on this link” What could possibly go wrong?!?!?! Bye-bye, spammity spam spam spam.

  • Reality.Bites

    Really? I think Emily’s a stuck up bitch and her friends don’t even know which key is the apostrophe.

    And Andrew’s too busy to talk right now, but I’ll pass your message on as soon as I remove the hood and gag.

  • Rocketeer500

    And……. flagged.

  • shellback

    I’m guessing English is not your native language.

    • James

      I’m fairly sure its native language is some form of machine code.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Good luck. I hope your win comes quickly!

  • MDB

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  • Bruno

    “…it is now the only part of the UK and Ireland that has not legalised same-sex marriage.” Not true. The Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, and most of the overseas dependencies haven’t either.

    • Robert W. Pierce

      The Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey as well as the overseas territories aren’t part of the UK but are crown dependencies with autonomous governments and legislatures. Interestingly, the Pitcairn Island, an overseas territory in the south pacific legalised same-sex marriage last week in spite of having no gay people on the island. Surprised it didn’t make news on JMG.

      • billbear1961

        Tell Joe, Robert.

    • Shy Guy

      Technically none of those are in the UK or Ireland though.

      The UK is England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

      The Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands are crown dependencies, and the overseas dependencies are also not part of the UK.

      It’s all a bit confusing as they are all under the control of the state known colloquially as (Great) Britain / the UK.

      • Bruno

        Yes, that is confusing. I thought the UK was the whole deal, with the countries having different status within it than the territories and crown dependencies. Crazy.

        • Heiko Ludwig

          CGP Grey explains “The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England” in a short video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10
          (My brain hurt after watching that,)

          • Bruno

            So really what I get from this is the whole shit and shebang should be called “The Crown.” Or maybe “God’s Land.” I don’t know.

          • Shy Guy

            Kind of, but that also includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand and a lot of other places.

          • Bruno

            I’m guessing (one of) the major difference(s) is that the UK provides defense for places like the Isle of Man and Anguilla, but not for Australia.

          • Shy Guy

            Yes, the “Commonwealth Realms” in the Venn diagram (like Australia, Canada) are basically independent nations that keep a link to the monarchy, whereas the “British Overseas Territories” (like Anguilla) are still basically colonies where the UK can overrule the local governments (though rarely interferes), and provides for their defence and foreign policy.

          • Bruno

            We saw I think it was last year that the Netherlands created marriage equality in some of its overseas territories (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba), and there was some opposition claiming the colonial mentality. It’ll be interesting to see what the UK does with some of their Caribbean territories in the future, because I don’t think any of them will be ready to pass ME on their own for a long time. It seems like Jersey & Guernsey at least are prepared to sometime in the near future.

          • Shy Guy

            Yes, the Caribbean does contain a lot of virulently anti-gay places. Given that some of the territories only had the decriminalisation of Homosexuality imposed on them by British order-in-council (decree, basically) in 2000, I think it’ll be a good while before we get any progress on marriage equality there. Probably 15-20 years.

            Since the Netherlands has had Marriage Equality since about 2001, that’s about the same sort of timescale.

            The Channel Islands should be a done deal in a couple of years. They’re just dragging their heels a bit.

          • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

            My first Canadian passport said that the bearer is a British subject. Subsequent passports simply indicated Canadian citizen. Up to the early 1980’s, our Constitution was a British law… it was then repatriated.

          • Shy Guy

            Yes, indeed. It actually surprised me quite how late that happened, even within my lifetime. 1982 for Canada, 1986 for Australia.

            And you didn’t even have to get your tea wet. 😉

          • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

            No tempest in a teapot about it… except, of course, for Québec not signing on.

            http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–wrJwHeJo–/vwcpueezmfqzakfqdwsv.jpg

          • billbear1961

            God save The Queen and The Duke of Normandy!!

            “In the Channel Islands The Queen is known as The Duke of Normandy. At official functions, islanders raise the loyal toast to ‘The Duke of Normandy, our Queen’.”

            http://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/QueenandCrowndependencies/ChannelIslands.aspx

          • Shy Guy

            Hi Billbear!

            Yes, I vaguely remember something about that when I visited.
            There are a lot of historical oddities. 😀

            http://www.macleans.ca/politics/the-queen-of-canada-is-dead-long-live-the-british-queen/

            According to this the Canadian Crown is distinct and separate. Even more headache.

          • billbear1961

            These matters are all part of the Serene Mystery of the Crown, Shy!

            🙂

            (Hello, sweetie!)

          • billbear1961

            Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada IS the national sovereignty personified:

            ‘As the living embodiment of the Crown, the sovereign is regarded as the personification of the Canadian state and as such, must, along with his or her viceregal representatives, “remain strictly neutral in political terms”. The body of the reigning sovereign thus holds two distinct personas in constant coexistence: that of a natural-born human being and that of the state as accorded to him or her through law; the Crown and the monarch are “conceptually divisible but legally indivisible … [t]he office cannot exist without the office-holder”, so, even in private, the monarch is always “on duty”. The terms the state, the Crown, the Crown in Right of Canada, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (French: Sa Majesté la Reine du chef du Canada), and similar are all synonymous and the monarch’s legal personality is sometimes referred to simply as Canada.’

            Without the Royal Assent, there is no law!

            The Crown stands at the very apex of power!

            HOWEVER, ‘the Crown today primarily functions as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance and a nonpartisan safeguard against the abuse of power, the sovereign acting as a custodian of the Crown’s democratic powers and a representation of the “power of the people above government and political parties”.’

            ‘ . . . the authority for [the Crown’s] acts stems from the Canadian populace and, within the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign’s direct participation in any of [the] areas of governance is limited, with most related powers entrusted for exercise (via advice or direction to the monarch or the viceroy) by the elected and appointed parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from among them, and the judges and justices of the peace.’

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy_of_Canada

          • Shy Guy

            Thanks! I was just about to post that.

            There is also an accompanying Venn diagram, which adds another level of complexity by adding the EU:
            http://cdn.visualnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/the-united-kingdom-explained.png

            (The UK is in the EU, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands are NOT.)

            Hopefully some of this is helpful, rather than just adding more confusion!

          • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

            What ever would we do without Venn diagrams? It’s actually making a confusing alphabet soup somewhat clearer.

            http://www.danielsiden.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Symmetrical_5-set_Venn_diagram-2-305×406.png

  • StraightGrandmother

    Keep fighting lads, keep up the good fight.

    • Prixator

      Don’t forget the lasses!

  • Bill_Perdue

    A step forward but the battle will be won by Sinn Féin and other radicals fighting for LGBT rights, for Irish workers and for the independence and reunification of English occupied NE Ireland with the rest of the nation.

    Judges are just politicians in funny robes and they respond to pressure.

  • Larry Ft Pierce

    can somebody please send me a link to Colin Farrell’s comment about Ireland’s dancing and rainbows after the vote? I can’t find it. Thanks.

  • billbear1961

    The BEST of luck to you!

    If the Court is just, how can it not rule in your favour?

    But how LONG will it take?

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    When rights are denied through legislation and legislators, the courts must arbitrate. Break a leg (figuratively), Northern Irish brothers and sisters.

  • Blobby

    isn’t that always the way: they don’t want the courts / judges to decide same-sex marriage unless the people vote FOR same sex marriage.

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