Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jan 13, 2020 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- Same-sex marriage is now legal in Northern Ireland, after a deadline set by the UK Parliament Westminster in July 2019 passed without the province forming a government. 

Prior to January 13, same-sex marriages that occurred outside of Northern Ireland were not recnogized, nor could same-sex couples receive a marriage certificate. Now, both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are able to enter a civil partnernship, something that was previously only available to same-sex couples. 

Presently, same-sex couples in Northern Ireland who have established a civil partnership will not be able to change that designation to a marriage, although this may happen in the future. The Northern Ireland Office in Westminster will also look into the role, if any, churches will have to play in same-sex marriages. 

Praise the Lord

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Texas bishops urge governor to reconsider refugee resettlement

Austin, Texas, Jan 13, 2020 / 04:18 pm (CNA).- Texas’ 16 Catholic bishops on Friday responded to Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement that the state will not participate in the federal refugee resettlement program, calling the decision “deeply discouraging and disheartening.”

“While the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops respects the governor, this decision is simply misguided. It denies people who are fleeing persecution, including religious persecution, from being able to bring their gifts and talents to our state and contribute to the general common good of all Texans,” the bishops said in a Jan. 10 joint statement.

“As Catholics, an essential aspect of our faith is to welcome the stranger and care for the alien. We use this occasion to commit ourselves even more ardently to work with all people of good will, including our federal, state and local governments, to help refugees integrate and become productive members of our communities.”

Praise the Lord

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