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“The law on marriage is a matter which is a transferred matter under the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

This means that it lies within the competence of the Northern Irish executive and the Northern Irish Assembly,” the judgment on Petition X read.

Northern Ireland is the last jurisdiction in the UK where same-sex couples can’t get married, a fact laid even more bare when same-sex marriage is possible just across the border in the Republic.

On Thursday, the movement for marriage equality in Northern Ireland faced a significant setback when Mr Justice O’Hara ruled against three couples in two cases attempting to progress same-sex marriage through the courts.

If you were to allow this to take over, we’d be angry all the time and you wouldn’t get anything done.” Before the judgment, he spoke about his frustrations. I get frustrated at the fact that the only reason we need to do this is because there are people in power who view people in the LGBTQ community as lesser. ” If and when the Assembly reconvenes, the DUP will remain the biggest roadblock to marriage equality, yet X says, “the DUP don’t have a monopoly on bigotry.

“They can dress that up in different language, they can get offended by being called homophobes, but if you are being pushed by a religious rather than a political view of equality, these people are able to do this, to hold us back, and yet there is no fallout for them. There are other unionist parties and loyalist parties that are holding back progress.

“We are critical of that viewpoint because we don’t have a functioning Assembly,” Moynagh says, “we have bias in the Assembly, and we don’t have direct rule.” After the judgment, the couple in Petition X left Belfast to spend some time with friends elsewhere in Northern Ireland. There doesn’t seem to be any foreseeable change in that situation.

Petitioner X said it was the first time he had felt actively discriminated against “I can’t help but feel personally put down by this. It’s our marriage that is being judged for its worthiness or unworthiness by this particular judge. Are our rights so second-class that we can just be put in some sort of indefinite wait?

An attempt in November 2015 was supported by a majority of representatives – 53 in favour and 51 against – but vetoed by the DUP using a “petition of concern” mechanism.

Moynagh believes that in asking for recognition of an existing marriage, they had pitched a decent case.

He interprets the judgment as the judge saying same-sex marriage is social policy, and that it’s up to government, not the courts, to make that. ” After the judgment, that frustration was compounded. We don’t have a devolved government that’s working – even though they’re still drawing their salaries – but we haven’t fallen back into a situation where we have direct rule.

Yet they run the risk of alienating young Protestant voters, who feel at odds with the party’s socially conservative stance.

In a post-election survey this year, 63 per cent of Protestant voters under 40 declared themselves in favour of same-sex marriage, and 72 per cent of Protestant non-voters under 40 were in favour.

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Ciaran Moynagh, the solicitor in Petition X, was “quietly confident” during the week.

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  1. This explains why Pontius Pilate chose crucifixion as the penalty for Jesus Christ, since Jesus claimed a form of "Kingship" that threatened those in religious and political power.