DUP block marriage equality legislation for fifth time
THE DUP has been criticised for again blocking moves to introduce marriage equality legislation at Stormont.
The north is the only part of Britain and Ireland were same sex marriage remains illegal.
Four previous attempts to introduce equal marriage legislation in the assembly have been vetoed by a DUP petition of concern, a mechanism which means all motions much have cross-community support.
The SDLP has proposed the latest change in the law, which is due to be debated on November 9.
However, it emerged last night that the DUP has again lodged a petition of concern.
Sinn Féin's Caitríona Ruane described the move as "hugely disappointing".
"Not only is this an insult to the LGBT community, it is also an attempt to reject the views of growing numbers of people who support marriage equality," she said.
SDLP Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood said the DUP had consistently abused the veto.
"The petition of concern is a mechanism designed to protect minority communities but the DUP are shameless in using it to veto equality and, by extension, discriminate against a minority community," he said.