CARE in Northern Ireland believes that secure, loving marriage and family life relationships are crucially important, benefiting individuals, families and society at large. CARE (NI) works to see policies and laws implemented that support marriage and family life.
CARE (NI) believes that marriage between a man and a woman is good for the family and therefore good for society. Our faith tells us that marriage is a high calling that should be respected and honoured. The book of Hebrews states that;
“Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.”
Redefinition of marriage
CARE (NI) supports marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. Consequently CARE, like many other religious and other groups, stood against the introduction of same-sex marriage in the UK Parliament (2013) and in the Scottish Parliament (2014). In May 2015 the Republic of Ireland also voted in favour of the redefinition of marriage. CARE was saddened and disappointed by these results which alter the fundamental definition of marriage as an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman for life.
Five motions have been brought to the Northern Ireland Assembly backing same sex marriage during this Assembly. They have been brought every 6 months since 2012 by MLAs from Sinn Fein, Alliance and the Green Party. Each has failed. On the first four occasions this was by a simple majority against the motion. On the last occasion sadly for the first time there was a majority in favour of the motion, albeit of just one, but it was prevented from passing by a petition of concern and the lack of cross community support. While 100% of the nationalist MLAs who voted supported the motion, 93% of the unionist MLAs who voted, voted against the motion.
In any new Northern Ireland Assembly it is very likely that further motions will be brought forward and CARE (NI) will continue to oppose the introduction of same-sex marriage into the Province and to defend the current law in Northern Ireland which is the only part of these islands to retain the traditional definition of marriage.
(In the context of the same sex marriage votes during the current session there have been concerning issues arising with regard to religious liberty for those who believe that the current definition of marriage should be maintained. For more information see our page on religious freedom.
Questions for Candidates
- Will you commit to voting against any future motion supporting same sex marriage?
- Will you commit to seeking to protect the religious liberty and freedom of individuals who oppose the redefinition of marriage in Northern Ireland?