Lord CashmanMain Page: Lord Cashman (Non-affiliated - Life peer)
Department Debates - View all Lord Cashman's debates with the Home Office
My Lords, there are not many badgers in the House of Lords but one might see the odd mouse. My noble friend makes a very valid point. Northern Ireland might peer south to southern Ireland, which has just elected its first gay Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian Immigrant. That is progress indeed. I join my noble friend in paying tribute to the late Lord Arran. Civil partnerships have been legal in Northern Ireland since 2004, but we encourage it to introduce equal marriage. There are currently two challenges to bans on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. Ultimately, it is a devolved matter but we continue to encourage it.
I also pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Cashman, for the work that he did with me through the passage of that legislation. It was a very proud day indeed when the House of Lords made those things possible, although the other place may have received the accolades. The noble Lord is absolutely right that we need to look at other offences. However, it is also important that our consideration of them is robust as we do not want to create unintended consequences: that is, disregards for offences which would still be offences. There was a slight interruption with the general election although officials had started to engage with Stonewall. They have consulted the document that Professor Johnson kindly provided and they are again arranging meetings with Stonewall. I hope to update the noble Lord and the House in due course.