UK MPs back extending gay marriage, abortion rights to Northern Ireland

UK MPs back extending gay marriage, abortion rights to Northern Ireland

MPs in Britain’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to extend same-sex marriage and abortion rights to Northern Ireland — unless devolved government is restored there by October 21.
Campaigners hailed the move as a “big step forward” in bringing the law in socially-conservative Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the country.
However, the changes will not come into effect if the two parties that share power in Belfast, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, can reach agreement in the coming months.
A dispute between them caused the devolved executive to collapse in January 2017 and, despite several rounds of talks, they remain at odds.
Abortion is currently illegal in Northern Ireland even in cases of rape, incest or when the foetus has a fatal physical defects.
The Supreme Court ruled last year that the ban was incompatible with human rights laws, although the specific case failed on a technicality.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s government in London has previously argued that the issue is one that must be resolved by locally-elected politicians.
Source: Guardian Newspaper