In a rare alliance, evangelicals and LGBT activists are uniting in their opposition to a same-sex marriage referendum in Northern Ireland.
According to Christian Today, Northern Ireland’s Labour Party shadow secretary of state Ivan Lewis called for the public vote to legalize same-sex marriage.
The General Assembly has voted four times in the past three years not to legalize same-sex marriage, so Lewis believes a referendum is needed.
Evangelicals oppose the referendum because it goes against the traditional view of marriage to which they hold.
"We believe there is value in retaining a distinct definition of marriage as between a man and a woman as a platform for flourishing,” a spokesman for the Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance stated.
LGBT activists also oppose the referendum, however. The activists hope that same-sex marriage will be legalized in Northern Ireland, but they do not support a referendum as a way to achieve this.
They say they would rather have a law passed by the General Assembly that would legalize same-sex marriage, rather than allowing the people to vote on the issue.
"We don't think people's right to equal marriage should be in a public vote. This won't be going away until we have equal marriage for people in Northern Ireland," Gavin Boyd, a spokesman for The Rainbow Project stated.
Lewis, however, stated that he called for the referendum because there was not enough support for a same-sex marriage law in the General Assembly, while recent polls forecast that the majority of people would vote yes to legalizing same-sex marriage in a referendum.
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Publication date: September 10, 2015