A law in the Northern Ireland Assembly to abolish same-sex marriage is due to be debated at Stormont later this month.
The Marriage Equality Act will come into force in July 2020 and has been approved by the Northern Irish Assembly.
However, the Assembly has said it is likely to be challenged in the High Court, which is currently considering the constitutionality of the law.
If it is to be found to be invalid it would be challenged by the Government.
The law currently allows for civil unions to be entered into between same-gender couples and states that such marriages are valid.
However this would not apply to same- gender marriages between opposite-sex couples.
The marriage law has also been criticised by gay rights groups for failing to recognise same- sex couples’ rights.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) has said that the law could breach the human rights of same- and intersex couples as it “excludes the rights of all who wish to marry”.
This could lead to “unacceptable consequences for individuals, including the rights to family life, custody and care”, it added.
In June, the Government said it was not prepared to legislate the legalisation of same sex marriage until a new legislation was introduced.
The bill will now be debated in the Assembly on Wednesday.
What is the Equality Act?”
I am confident that this will help to provide the legal framework for a more civilised society in Northern Ireland.”
What is the Equality Act?
Same-sex civil unions are a form of legal recognition for same- or intersex people.
The legislation has been criticised for being a “peddler’s bill” for a number of reasons, including failing to provide for equal rights and the potential for discrimination.
The Bill was introduced by the DUP in May and the Assembly approved it on September 10.
It came after the Government approved legislation in April to give equal rights to same sex couples in Northern Irish society.
The Assembly has not been in a position to make a judgement on the Bill but has given the Minister the powers to issue legislation in this area.
The proposed legislation would give same- genders married in Northern England the right to marry in Northern Northern Ireland.
The same- sexes could also apply to a marriage in a different jurisdiction.
It would also give same sex civil unions in the UK the same legal status as married couples.
This would be a major change in Northern Republic society and Northern Ireland has long had a history of gay rights.
What are the main points of the bill?
It would amend the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 1973, the legislation that gave the power to enter into civil partnerships, to extend the definition of marriage to include same-Sex Couples.
It also includes the right for same sex marriages to be registered in Northern Europe.
It proposes to allow same-Gender Couples to enter civil partnerships in the Republic of Ireland.
It will also give equal civil status to same Sex Couple’s married in a Northern Ireland jurisdiction.
In addition to the right of same Sex couples to marry, it also states that same Sex marriages can be entered in other countries, including Canada, Mexico and Australia.
The Irish Government said the legislation was necessary to protect civil rights and protect children and the elderly.
In a statement, it said:”The introduction of same marriage legislation in Northern society will provide the foundation for a fairer society, with equal rights for all citizens of Northern Ireland, and help to promote the development of the LGBTI community.”
What are some of the concerns?
In a written statement, the DUP said:There are a number concerns that have been raised about the draft legislation.
“The Equality Act does not recognise same sex relationships or couples.
It excludes the rights and responsibilities of all the members and the public who wish the marriage to be recognised.”
What can be done?
The DUP said it would not be a problem to have a civil union between a gay and a straight couple.
However it would also not allow same sex married couples to enter a civil partnership in another country.
It said it wanted a clear definition of the term “civil union”.
What are other laws in Northern America?
In 2018, the United States Congress passed a bill which would allow same gender couples to legally marry.
However the bill did not go through a final vote.