Trade Unionists for Marriage Equality is urging union members, their families, friends and anyone else who may support LGBT+ rights in Northern Ireland to climb aboard the Dublin to Belfast train on Saturday July 1.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) backed union is proposing this action as a gesture of solidarity with “Love Equality”, the campaign for equal civil marriage in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland remains the only country in the UK where it is not legal to marry a member of the same sex. Proposed legislation for marriage equality has been perennially blocked by the the country’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Trade Unionists for Marriage Equality are hoping that other LGBT+ groups in Ireland will join them at the rally which was announced today on July 1st. A similar rally was held in June 2015, which drew thousands of participants.
“We invite people to join us in their thousands on the march for marriage equality in Belfast on July 1st,” said the Northern Ireland programme director of Amnesty International, Patrick Corrigan.
The marriage equality advocates will be boarding the 11:20am ‘love train’ from Dublin to Belfast on Saturday July 1 so that they can participate in the Love Equality rally organised for later in the day.
The group are advising anyone wishing to take part in this peaceful demonstration of support to book their tickets early on the Irish Rail website.
The Great Train Tradition
The Love Equality campaign is being led by Amnesty International, Rainbow Project, ICTU, Cara-Friend, NUS-USI and HereNI.
David Joyce, Ethel Buckley and Séamus Dooley, the joint convenors of Trade Unionists for Marriage Equality group in the South, welcomed today’s announcement of the July 1 rally and are encouraging members of the LGBT+ community in the Republic of Ireland to hop aboard the love train to Belfast.
In a joint statement they said: “Now is the time to show practical solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Northern Ireland. By travelling together on July 1st we can lend our voice to those who demand full equality in Northern Ireland.
“The ‘love train’ is a gesture of support and is in the great tradition of the Contraceptive train, when feminists demanded the right of access to contraceptives in the South.
“We know many people want to support the campaign for marriage equality in the North. This is an opportunity to do so at a time when the eyes of the world are on those who have sought to obstruct that campaign.”
“There is now a very clear majority within the Northern Ireland Assembly in favour of marriage equality,” Corrigan said. “But if Stormont is incapable of delivering equality for the people of Northern Ireland then, through direct rule, it is the responsibility of the Westminster government.
“Marriage equality in Northern Ireland is a litmus test for whether or not any future government is committed to treating all citizens of this country equally. No backroom politics can be allowed to stand in the way of equality,” he said.
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