Thousands March For Marriage Equality In Northern Ireland


Ireland Marriage Equality Rally

Thousands of people took to the streets of Northern Ireland on Saturday to demand the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

A march organised by advocacy group Love Equality took place in central Belfast, with the crowd chanting “Change is on the way” and “You can’t stop change”.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK and Ireland where same-sex marriage is still illegal, despite the UK government passing the reform in 2013.

Patrick Corrigan of the Love Equality campaign, said “human rights should not rely on postcodes.”

“It’s nonsensical that the government is denying the people of Northern Ireland the same rights as everyone else in the UK,” he said.

“There can be no second-class citizens in the UK. It is now up to [Prime Minister] Theresa May and the UK government to deliver on the promise of equality.”

Last month, a bill by MP Conor McGinn to bring same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland became stuck in a complex political deadlock.

The law change was blocked by a “petition of concern” that means an amendment can only be passed in the assembly if a weighted majority of MPs from the DUP and Nationalist parties in the UK parliament support it, rather than a simple majority head count, The Guardian reported.

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McGinn told the BBC there is “a huge majority” in the UK parliament’s House of Commons who want the legislation changed.

“Westminster has a duty to legislate for equal rights in Northern Ireland. These rights are enjoyed by people right across the UK and the rest of the island of Ireland,” he said.

“With no functioning assembly, Theresa May must act. We can’t have inequality and discrimination for LGBT people here – we don’t have it anywhere else.

“We are on the right side of history. We will not give up. This is not going away. And we are going to win.”

(Photo by Love Equality NI/Twitter)