Northern Ireland Campaigners Urge Theresa May To Back Marriage Equality

Members of The Rainbow Project and Cara-Friend called on Theresa May to make moves to legislate for marriage equality in Northern Ireland.

Image of campaigners and Jeremy Corbyn, who urged Theresa May to support marriage equality.

Campaigners for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland used their platform to urge the British Prime Minister Theresa May to legislate for equal marriage at an awards ceremony in central London last night.

The Pink News Awards honoured the work and achievements of LGBT+ advocates in the United Kingdom. Campaigners for marriage equality in Northern Ireland – The Rainbow Project and Cara-Friend, part of the Love Equality coalition – were both the recipients of the Community Group of the Year award, presented to them by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In accepting his award, director of The Rainbow Project, John O’Doherty, urged Theresa May to support marriage equality in Northern Ireland:

“As I stand here tonight I am struck by the fact that I can be recognised as married to my husband, but as he is in Belfast, he cannot be recognised as married to me.”

O’Doherty continued:

“We have watched as the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK have legislated for marriage and ensured equal recognition under the law for same-sex couples, and we have our faces pressed against the glass of equality.

“Westminster must legislate and we ask people from across the UK to write to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Women’s and Equalities Minister urging them to legislate for equal marriage in Northern Ireland.”

Labour MP Conor McGinn and Conservative peer Lord Hayward were also recognised for their involvement in marriage equality as they collected the Politician of the Year Award.

McGinn said:

“I’m hugely honoured to have won Politician of the Year at the Pink News Awards jointly with my friend Lord Hayward. We won’t rest until we have marriage equality for Northern Ireland. Thank you to colleagues from all parties and everyone who continues to support Love Equality.”

On October 26 McGinn’s bill proposing same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland is due for a second reading before the House the Commons, and without government support, it is unlikely to pass.

As it stands, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK which still bans marriage for same-sex couples, despite majority support among both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the public. A Sky News poll showed, in April, that 76% of the public showed support for marriage equality.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.