Northern Ireland May Get Marriage Referendum

The Belfast Telegraph reports:

Three senior unionists who were involved in establishing power-sharing at Stormont 20 years ago have called for a referendum on issues currently causing deadlock in the talks.

These include whether there should be a stand-alone Irish Language Act for Northern Ireland, same-sex marriage laws and our abortion laws.

Former Ukip MLA David McNarry, ex-Ulster Unionist chairman David Campbell and former UUP MLA Michael McGimpsey launched their Breaking The Deadlock document at the Stormont Hotel yesterday.

Mr Campbell said they had shared their documents with each of the party leaders before releasing it to the media, and hoped it could help smooth the swift return of devolution.

A very related story from Sky News:

Northern Ireland is gaining ground on Belgium’s record of 589 days without an elected government in a democracy. It is 367 days since the devolved administration at Stormont collapsed, leaving one corner of the UK without a ruling executive in place.

With no ministers in office, senior civil servants have had to step in to keep the various departments of government – health, education, etc – ticking over. Unelected officials are making decisions daily on how hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money should be spent.

This spring Britain’s Supreme Court will hear Northern Ireland’s own anti-gay baker case.