Gay marriage rights are back on the agenda again. A Sinn Fein / SDLP motion was debated today over Gay rights - It produced a majority vote in the NI Assembly for the first time. It also included some passionate debate from both sides. Of course a majority in NI doesn't mean much. The DUP placed a Petition of Concern which vetoed the motion as predicted. However, it was an important milestone and shows the pressure on the DUP. Mike Nesbitt, who admitted his views were on the 'wrong side of History' abstained from the vote as did an SDLP opponent, Alban McGuinness. The actual use of the petition of concern has been as much a talking point today as the vote. It has been claimed on Slugger O Toole website that the Petition of Concern are actually pre packaged and ready to be used when the party decides - This will add fuel to the fire of the argument for reform.
Mr John Wishart -