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.
The demands for change were loud and clear at the @Love_EqualityNI Marriage Equality rally yesterday as thousands called for change. Next Stop: Belfast Pride! Friday 27th July to Sunday 5th with Pride Day on Saturday the 4th. #bproud2018 pic.twitter.com/FuMiApWc0d
— Belfast Pride (@belfastpride) June 3, 2018
What an amazing day, the sun shone brightly for the #marriageequality rally in Belfast. Delighted and honoured to help lead the march as Lord Mayor, my last official engagement of the year. Overwhelming number of people support equal marriage- and we will gain true equality! pic.twitter.com/MFqGoMLaR9
— NualaMcAllister (@NualaMcAllister) June 2, 2018
Are you ready for Love?
Are you ready for Equality?
Thank you to every single person who came in their thousands & thousands to our rallies yesterday.
— Love Equality NI (@Love_EqualityNI) June 3, 2018
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)