Sinn Fein Cllr Leanne Peacock.
RASHARKIN Sinn Fein Councillor Leanne Peacock has described the DUP position on marriage equality and abortion as “out of step with the majority view both here in Ireland and in Britain.”
Cllr Peacock was responding to Tuesday's (July 9) decision by Westminster MPs to pave the way for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and the possible relaxation of abortion laws in Northern Ireland.
Previously Ballymoney DUP Alderman John Finlay described the votes as “a disgraceful betrayal”
Labour MP Conor McGinn's proposal, which says that if Stormont isn't restored by October 21, then Westminster will legislate for equal marriage, was passed by 383 votes for and 73 against.
MPs also voted in favour of an amendment that could see access to abortion to Northern Ireland extended, proposed by Labour MP Stella Creasy, which was passed by 332 votes to 99.
Both were passed as amendments to legislation being pushed through by Secretary of State Karen Bradley, to allow assembly elections to be delayed.
Commenting on Tuesday's events Cllr Peacock said: “Over the past number of years the DUP and British government have denied rights to people in the north, marriage equality, language rights, the rights of victims of the conflict and women’s rights.
“These issues should be dealt with in the Assembly.
“But where it fails to do so, the British government in particular has a responsibility to legislate for rights. The British government have now been confronted with this reality.
“This is not our preferred option, but it’s clearly stated within the Good Friday Agreement.
“Yesterday’s vote should be a lesson to the DUP that their position on these matters is untenable and out of step with the majority view both here in Ireland and in Britain.
“It’s time to deliver a deal which restores the power-sharing institutions on the basis of equality and rights and which delivers across a whole range of issues that affect people in our society.”