Reported by BBC News – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

MPs have backed amendments which require the government to liberalise abortion and extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland if devolution is not restored.

It was part of a Commons debate aimed at keeping NI running in the absence of devolved government.

Its main purpose was to extend the government’s legal power to delay a fresh Stormont election.

MPs had tabled a series of other amendments.

They argued those issues should not be stalled due to the lack of devolution, which collapsed in January 2017.

MPs backed the same-sex marriage amendment by 383 votes to 73, while the abortion amendment was backed 332 to 99.

Neither amendment automatically changes the law in Northern Ireland, where same-sex marriage is not legal and abortion is only allowed in very limited circumstances.

Labour’s Conor McGinn, originally from County Armagh, put forward a proposal to the NI Executive Formation Bill that if Stormont is not restored by 21 October, then the government should legislate for same-sex marriage – on the condition that a future assembly could overturn or amend the law.


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