MOYLE District councillors have passed a motion proposed by Sinn Féin Glens councillor Noreen McAllister calling for the same rights and entitlements to civil marriage for all citizens regardless of race, religion or sexuality.
The council voted in favour of the motion despite objections from the DUP and TUV and one independent representative.
In a statement issued afterwards, Councillor McAllister, described as a “great disappointment” that the Moyle UUP members in some way “dodged this important debate” and left the chamber just as the motion was about to be discussed.
Councillor McAllister said: “Sinn Féin is a party committed to the equality agenda. We believe that all citizens regardless of race, religion or sexuality should be treated as equals in the eyes of the law.
“Every citizen should enjoy the same rights and entitlements that includes in relation to marriage and this is the basis of the motion passed by the council. This is about ensuring marriage equality for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.”
Councillor McAllister added “ I believe the Civil Partnership act, whilst I welcome it, doesn’t go far enough in that it provides same-sex couples with similar legal rights to married couples but does not allow such unions to be referred to as marriage.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my Sinn Féin colleagues in Belfast, Cork, Omagh and Down councils on raising this equality issue and successfully getting it passed.
“Moyle Council is the fifth council in Ireland to raise this important issue about human rights and equality and I’m delighted to hear my colleagues in Magherafelt District council have now made it six.
“I look forward to this motion being supported by other councils in the future.”