When Did Homosexuality Become Legal in Northern Ireland

There have been five attempts to introduce same-sex marriage in the Northern Ireland Assembly, with a majority supporting legalisation in 2015, but the Democratic Unionist Party exercised its veto power by tabling a disturbing petition. [49] At the time of Ireland`s successful referendum on same-sex marriage in 2015, an Ipsos Mori poll conducted between May 20 and June 8, 2015 found that 68% of Northern Irish people supported same-sex marriage. [57] [58] These two legal steps had a profound impact on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the autonomy of Stormont`s devolved government. In terms of regulating sexual behaviour, Northern Ireland was a „different place from other parts of the United Kingdom“ and more in keeping with the Catholic conservatism of the independent Irish state. Northern Ireland`s sectarian conservatism and the Parliament assigned to Stormont meant that laws regarding sexuality were enforced differently than in the rest of the UK, further underscoring the region`s long-awaited status within the Union. Norris filed a lawsuit in 1977 to decriminalize homosexuality, arguing that such laws violated the Constitution`s position on privacy. In 1980, the Norris case was dismissed by the High Court. It was subsequently challenged and rejected before the Supreme Court. On 20 May 2019, Heneghan (now 27) filed a new complaint in the High Court against the general postponement of men who have had oral or sex with another man in the past 12 months. [127] [128] [129] [130] Heneghan submits that the questionnaire does not allow the IBTS to make a comprehensive assessment of the risk posed by an individual donor due to his or her sexual behaviour. It also states that, according to IBTS`s own website, there is a window period after infection when HIV and hepatitis cannot be detected in the blood, and that this window is seven days for HIV and 16 days for hepatitis. He says a much less onerous restriction could be imposed than the 12-month deferral, which would protect blood recipients. He alleges that the decision to impose an „automatic deferral“ on him is illegal and violates EU and European Community law on the quality and safety of human blood products, and that this policy is disproportionate, discriminates against gay and bisexual men and violates his constitutional rights and rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

In November 2016, the Northern Ireland Assembly passed a legislative approval motion to extend the application of the UK`s Police and Crime Act 2017, including the Alan Turing Act, to Northern Ireland. [42] [43] This law allows anyone convicted of crimes against homosexuality to obtain a pardon. [44] The only opponent at convention was Jim Allister of the Traditional Unionist Voice, whose private motion to remove the historic pardons from the legislative consent motion was defeated by a vote. [45] [44] As of 1 September 2020, religious and religious same-sex marriages and marriages will become legal in Northern Ireland. [54] This was not the first time that „external“ governance forced Northern Ireland to change its position on LGBTQ+ rights. In 1982, fifteen years after the Sexual Offences Act 1967, the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality was extended to Northern Ireland after an employee of a Belfast ship, Jeff Dudgeon, successfully appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. Dudgeon`s 1981 case was the first in Strasbourg to be decided in favor of LGBTQ+ rights, setting a precedent later replicated by Senator David Norris for the Republic of Ireland in 1988. In July 2019, Labour MP Conor McGinn announced plans to include an amendment to an upcoming administrative bill in the UK Parliament relating to Northern Ireland that would legalise same-sex marriage three months after the law was passed if the Northern Ireland Assembly remains suspended. Under the terms of the amendment originally drafted, the regional executive could approve or revoke the measure upon resumption. [87] The amendment was adopted in the House of Commons by 383 votes to 73.

[88] McGinn`s amendment, amended by Lord Hayward when it was passed in the House of Lords, required the Foreign Secretary to make arrangements extending same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland if the Assembly did not reconvene by 21 October 2019.

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